radio astronomy


: astronomy dealing with radio waves received from outside the earth's atmosphere
radio astronomer noun
radio astronomical adjective

Examples of radio astronomy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The National Science Foundation and SpaceX recently announced an astronomy coordination agreement to benefit radio astronomy. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, 3 Mar. 2023 This mission in particular will focus on space weather, interactions with the surface of the moon, radio astronomy, precision landing technologies and plume-surface interactions. Lawrence Dow, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 24 Jan. 2024 For all the technological innovation a lunar 4G network might bring about, its signals could unfortunately also mean bad news for radio astronomy. IEEE Spectrum, 2 Nov. 2020 In response to Fermi’s paradox and at the urging of several prominent scientists like radio astronomy pioneer Frank Drake, SETI was born: the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Paul Sutter, Ars Technica, 18 May 2023 In 1958, Cornell University proposed an ambitious radio observatory to ARPA, framing it as a dual-use facility for radio astronomy and ionospheric physics. Ben Evans, Discover Magazine, 5 Dec. 2022 As part of her doctoral work in radio astronomy, Jocelyn Bell Burnell built a radio telescope by hand — pounding posts, stringing wire, attaching metal. Sarah Scoles, Discover Magazine, 12 June 2019 Normal radio astronomy is passive, and China has the world’s largest dish of this type, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope. Byscience News Staff,, 23 Feb. 2023 In late May, three radio astronomy observatories detected a strange signal coming from around Mars. Teresa Nowakowski, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'radio astronomy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1948, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of radio astronomy was in 1948

Dictionary Entries Near radio astronomy

Cite this Entry

“Radio astronomy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

radio astronomy

: astronomy dealing with electromagnetic waves of radio frequency received from outside the earth's atmosphere
radio astronomer noun

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