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3rd of February 2022
RFI at the MRO?
The Australian and Western Australian Governments established a radio quiet zone to protect the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, which is the location of ASKAP and the MWA, and will host the SKA-Low telescope. A radio quiet zone is an area where signal levels from radiocommunications equipment (like television transmitters, mobile phones and CB radios) and electrical devices are controlled to limit interference to radio telescopes. The Observatory routinely monitors the radio-frequency environment to ensure there are no sources of interference. This monitoring revealed a short lived burst of Radio Frequency Interference around 2pm local time (06 UTC) on January 20th, as illustrated above. The burst lasted about 10 minutes, and was strongest around 100 MHz, but extended above 1 GHz. Concerns that this may have been caused by activity on-site were alleviated when it was realised this was associated with a solar flare, detected by satellites monitoring ths sun! (Image credit: Tom Cox)

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