newsRadio Astronomy

Astronomers Protect Endangered Bands

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Science  08 Dec 1995:
Vol. 270, Issue 5242, pp. 1564
DOI: 10.1126/science.270.5242.1564a

Summary

Amsterdam—Radio astronomers are treating a handful of footnotes in a document produced at the World Radio Conference held last month in Geneva, Switzerland, as a major achievement. The footnotes ask governments to protect certain bands—especially the methanol line at 6668 megahertz—for exclusive use by astronomers. These bands are being encroached on by telecommunication and satellite companies, swamping the faint signals from deep space so precious to astronomers. The footnotes are usually respected, but astronomers are lobbying for stronger protections.