Monday 14 April 2014

Video of ionospheric scintillation

Recently, we ran a small article on ionospheric scintillation and how dramatically it can change depending on atmospheric conditions. A few days later we showed two more interesting plots, both to the same scale, which demonstrated how substantial the different ionospheric scintillation conditions can be.

However, there is nothing quite like a video to really show how the scintillation can affect the signal. So today, we have just that!

What we did was make all-sky images for each of the two extremes shown in that last post we made on the topic.

The observing frequency was the same in both cases 58.594 MHz), 1 second integration per frame, 195.3 kHz bandwidth. The sequence is sped up somewhat (5 minutes data in about 30 seconds of video). As the time of day was the same in both instances, so the radio sky is in roughly the same orientation.

On the 25.12.2013 (left), the ionosphere exhibited extreme scintillation. The two bright sources (Cas A and Cyg A) are flickering quite dramatically. However, exactly two days later (27.12.2013, right), the ionosphere was relatively stable and the brightnesses of the two strong radio sources remain steady.

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