EXPLAINER: How do radio telescopes work?

Please login to favourite this article.

Astronomers have different ways of watching the universe, including optical telescopes like Hubble and radio telescopes like the SKA.

But how do radio telescopes actually work? This animation shows you how both dish and dipole antennae receive radio waves to observe distant galaxies in the Universe, and what astronomers do with that data.

Video length: 1:45 mins

This video was brought to you by the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research.

Login or Sign up for FREE to download a copy of the full teacher resource

Years: 5, 7, 10

Topics:

Earth and Space Sciences – The Solar System

Physical Sciences – Energy

Additional: Careers, Technology, Engineering

Concepts (South Australia):

Earth and Space Sciences – Earth in Space

Physical Sciences – Energy

Years:

5, 7 & 9-10
Learning Connections

Student Skill Summary

Australian Curriculum Connections - Version 8.4

Sub StrandYear LevelKey IdeaConcept - ACConcept - SAContent TopicContent CodeContent Descriptor
Earth and Space Sciences7Pattern, order and organisationEarth and the UniverseEarth in SpaceThe Solar System: Orbits and SeasonsACSSU115Predictable phenomena on Earth, including seasons and eclipses, are caused by the relative positions of the sun, Earth and the moon
10Scale and measurement | SystemsEarth and the UniverseEarth in SpaceThe Universe: Features and OriginsACSSU188The universe contains features including galaxies, stars and solar systems, and the Big Bang theory can be used to explain the origin of the universe
Physical Sciences9Matter and energy | Form and functionForms and Transfers of EnergyEnergyEnergy Movement and WavesACSSU182Energy transfer through different mediums can be explained using wave and particle models 
Sub StrandYear LevelContent TopicContent CodeContent Descriptor
Nature and Development of Science7Collaboration and Cultural Diversity Further Scientific KnowledgeACSHE223Science knowledge can develop through collaboration across the disciplines of science and the contributions of people from a range of cultures
7Scientific Knowledge Changes Our Understanding of the WorldACSHE119Scientific knowledge has changed peoples’ understanding of the world and is refined as new evidence becomes available
9Refinement of Scientific Understanding, Models and Theories EvolvesACSHE157Scientific understanding, including models and theories, is contestable and is refined over time through a process of review by the scientific community
9Advancements in Scientific Understanding Rely on Technological AdvancementsACSHE158Advances in scientific understanding often rely on technological advances and are often linked to scientific discoveries
10Refinement of Scientific Understanding, Models and Theories EvolvesACSHE191Scientific understanding, including models and theories, is contestable and is refined over time through a process of review by the scientific community
10Advancements in Scientific Understanding Rely on Technological AdvancementsACSHE192Advances in scientific understanding often rely on technological advances and are often linked to scientific discoveries
Use and Influence of Science7Societal and Ethical Impacts of Scientific and Technological SolutionsACSHE120Solutions to contemporary issues that are found using science and technology, may impact on other areas of society and may involve ethical considerations
7Use of Science Understanding and Skills in OccupationsACSHE121People use science understanding and skills in their occupations and these have influenced the development of practices in areas of human activity
9Societal Values and Needs can Influence Scientific ResearchACSHE228Values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research
9Use of Scientific Knowledge Affects Lives and Generates Career OpportunitiesACSHE160People use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they accept claims, explanations or predictions, and advances in science can affect people’s lives, including generating new career opportunities
10Societal Values and Needs can Influence Scientific ResearchACSHE230Values and needs of contemporary society can influence the focus of scientific research
10Use of Scientific Knowledge Affects Lives and Generates Career OpportunitiesACSHE194People use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they accept claims, explanations or predictions, and advances in science can affect people’s lives, including generating new career opportunities