Here is a collection of reading material and other helpful learning resources related to radio astronomy and radio telescopes:

Amateur Radio Astronomy

The Radio Sky – by Jeff Lashley; contains some good starting points for various radio astronomy projects, as well as some hardware basics.

Getting Started in Radio Astronomy – by Steven Arnold; walks you through several radio astronomy projects, such as Radio Jove and others, and outlines aspects of radio science, such as electricity, magnetism, the ionosphere, etc.

Radio Astronomy: Science

Unseen Cosmos – by Sir Francis Graham-Smith; fun book on the history, science and major discoveries of radio astronomy.

Essential Radio Astronomy – by James J. Condon and Scott M. Ransom; advanced but clear introduction to the science behind radio astronomy radiation fundamentals, how radio telescopes work, and more.

South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO) E-Learning Portal – collection of excellent introductory resources for interested learners ranging from middle school students to professional radio astronomers.

Radio Astronomy Equations — you might find this page useful when you want to extract scientific information from your data.

Breakthrough Listen (BL) Interns “Getting Started” page – contains lots of useful info about computer skills you might want to learn as you dive into radio astronomy. Also includes links to interesting tutorials you can work through with public BL data.

Astrobaki – this is a wiki dedicated to collecting and sharing pedagogical astronomy resources like textbooks, lecture notes, etc., geared toward undergraduates and graduate students but accessible to any motivated learners. Many are radio astronomy-related.

Digital Signal Processing

The Essential Guide to Digital Signal Processing – by Richard G. Lyons and D. Lee Fugal; short, easy-to-follow introduction to digital signal processing concepts, such as sampling, Fourier Transforms, spectral analysis, etc.

Quadrature Signals: Complex, But Not Complicated – great article on in-phase and quadrature (I/Q) sampling with some description of the math involved.

I/Q Data for Dummies – another article on I/Q sampling with helpful graphics.

Field Expedient SDR series – a collection of books by Paul and David Clark that provides a hands-on introduction to software defined radio, signal processing, and related topics with tie-in exercises using GNU Radio.


Electronics for Dummies – accessible introduction to electronic components and their functions and how to put them together in a circuit.

Voltage, Current, Resistance, and Ohm’s Law – helpful article that explains several basic concepts of electricity clearly with great analogies and visual aids.

Facilities / Partner Organizations

Canadian Centre for Experimental Radio Astronomy (CCERA): A project dedicated to the use of Software Defined Radio in radio astronomy. CCERA provides open source resources and software for citizen science radio astronomy.

Digital Signal Processing in Radio Astronomy (DSPIRA) – An NSF Research Experience for Teachers Program; check for updates

GNU Radio – free, open-source, software-defined radio

Green Bank Observatory

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Open Source Radio Telescopes Wiki – our Wiki pages with ideas, information exchange, etc.

Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers – excellent source of information, resources, and like-minded individuals.