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Nokia to provide 4G network on Moon: Why it is bad news for radio astronomy

Radio frequency interference (RFI) is the long-term nemesis of radio astronomers. Jodrell Bank - the earliest radio astronomy observatory in the world still in existence - was created because of RFI

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As you drive down the road leading to Jodrell Bank Observatory, a sign asks visitors to turn off their mobile phones, stating that the Lovell telescope is so powerful it could detect a phone signal on Mars.
Radio telescopes are designed to be incredibly sensitive. To quote the legendary astronomer Carl Sagan, “The total amount of energy from outside the solar system ever received by all the radio telescopes on the planet Earth is less than the energy of a single snowflake striking the ground.”
The total energy now is probably a few snowflakes’ worth, but nevertheless it is

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First Published: Oct 26 2020 | 11:38 AM IST

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