Hawkesbury Radio Astronomy Observatory

Adventures in Amateur Radio Astronomy

Website of the Hawkesbury Radio Astronomy Observatory (HawkRAO)  - located some 60 km NW of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Radio astronomy is the perfect combination of my long-standing interests in radio and astronomy.  Even after more than the half-a-century since my first crystal set, radio is still like magic to me.

Add to that the wondrous objects which can be observed in the cosmic realm and perhaps my constant fascination with radio astronomy should be regarded as not so "unusual".

This website (see NOTES below) provides some details of various projects related to radio astronomy engaged in at HawkRAO, including Pulsar observations and HI Line observations. Also - interests and possible future projects are discussed.

The Neutron Star Group is an association of amateur radio astronomers world-wide primarily interested in pulsar detection, as well as fast radio burst (FRBs), Giant Pulses (GPs), Super Giant Pulses (SGPs) and cosmic transients in general.

(Please read NOTES at the end of this page)

Main Focus of this Website

Activities at HawkRAO are mainly based on observing the Vela pulsar.   Observations began in May, 2017 with daily observations aimed at measuring the slow spin-down of the pulsar.  During the more than 5 years of daily observations two glitches of the pulsar have been observed in HawkRAO data.

Glitch #1

After 20 months of daily observations, on the 1st February, 2019 UTC, the HawkRAO system detected a 'glitch' in the Vela Pulsar. It is believed this is the first ever detection of a pulsar glitch by an amateur radio astronomer.  Refer to  ATel #12466

Glitch #2

After a further 30 months (23rd July, 2021 UTC) a second 'glitch' was detected in HawkRAO observation data.  Refer to ATel #14808 

Further details of these detections can be found on the 'Pulsar Observations' page.

How it Began...

Some 30-odd years ago I did a small project in radio astronomy which involved interferometry of the Sun.

Due to retirement of the old PCs where data was stored, the only remaining information about this activity is shown below. 

A simple result - nonetheless the catalyst for an ongoing fascination with all things cosmic...