"Radio Astronomy: Observing the Invisible Universe"

Dr. Esteban D. Araya
Assistant Professor, Department of Physics
Western Illinois University

For centuries, astronomy was the exclusive realm of optical observations until a serendipitous discovery in the 1930s opened a new window to the Universe.  Karl Jansky, a radio engineer working for Bell Labs, discovered radio emission from the plane of the Galaxy. The pioneer work of Karl Jansky initiated the field of radio astronomy - now one of the most active research areas in astrophysics.

Radio observations have shown that we live in an extraordinary Universe, where supermassive black holes reside at the center of galaxies and where new stars form from the ashes of previous generations of stars within giant clouds of dust, gas, and organic molecules.  I will review the field of radio astronomy, in particular, the type of objects studied in the radio regime and the current and future instrumentation that promises a new revolution in our understanding of the cosmos.