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1927 __ « Can We Radio The Planets ? »
Comment : "Can we Radio the Planets ?", Cover of Radio News, February 1927. (Hugo Gernsback, editor).In 1925, just a dozen years after engineers learned to generate radio waves using an electron tube, Gregory Breit and Merle Tuve, working for the Carnegie Institution of Washington DC, bounced radio waves off the ionosphere and thus determined its height. This showed that radio waves could be used as a probe. Two years later the well-known radio enthusiast and popularizer Hugo Gernsback proposed, in an article in Radio News entitled "Can we radio the planets ?", that radio waves be bounced off the moon and planets, and he calculated 2.5 seconds as the time for a signal to travel to the moon and back. In the early 1930s at Bell Telephone Laboratories, Karl Guthe Jansky was investigating the noise in the radiotelephone transmissions across the Atlantic Ocean. He distinguished three types of static: crashes from local thunderstorms, a steadier and weaker static from the combined effect of distant storms, and a weak hiss of unknown origin. In an article in 1933 Proceedings of the IRE, he first reported these results, suggesting that the weak hiss might be associated with the sun. He investigated the noise further with a highly directional antenna at the 14.6m wavelength. He found that the antenna noise attained at maximum was time shifted by 4 minutes per day - the difference between stellar time and solar time. He identified the position of maximum intensity with a position at the center of our Galaxy. He had discovered what we now know to be the diffuse galactic synchroton emission. (Compiled from various sources)Moon-Radio Predicted in 1927 - Readers of the Gernsback publications will not be too surprised to hear of radio-radar contacts with the moon, since such communication was accurately predicted 19 years ago in an article bu Hugo Gernsback, entitled : "Can We Radio the Planets ?", and published by him in his former magazine, "Radio News", February, 1927. The article foretold exactly the results now had by the Army Signal Corps scientists. An illustration pictured a radio transmitter on the earth with the moon overhead and the reflected radio beam coming back. At each side of the earth an observer was shown monitoring the transmitter and received waves, with a clock indicating two and a half seconds elapsed time between the outgoing and incoming signal. "Can we Radio the Planets ?" Mr. Gernsback stated, does not necessarily mean that the author has attempted in this article to design apparatus to transmit and receive intelligence to and from other worlds, although such a possibility is discussed. Rather he brings forth an entirely new point, suggesting seriously - by means of the beam system - to send and receive back the same beam, for scientific research work, as well as explore our own planet for scientific purposes. He also recognized that to accomplish the feat, short waves would have to be used. The article stated : "I am fully aware of the criticism that will at one be raised, that it is not possible for us to send a radio beam beyond the confines of our own atmosphere, due to the so-called Heaviside layer, which is supposed to exist a hundred or so miles above the surface of the earth. According to the researches of the eminent scientist, Oliver Heaviside, the upper layers of our atmosphere are so conductive electrically, due to the "ionizing" effect existing at such heights, that the radio waves are reflected; and it would thus seem impossible that we shoot a radio beam outside of the confines of the earth. This may be perfectly true when it comes to the usual radio waves, such as have been used in the past, varying from some 15 meters up to 25,000 meters. I am aqually certain that at lower wavelengths, says from two meters downwards (Note: the Signal Corps scientists actually ysed wavelengths in the order of two meters, namely 111,6 megacycles), entirely different conditions appear, for the folllowing reasons : We know that radio waves are an electro-magnetic activity, the same as light waves or heat waves. It is believed that, the lower down we go in the wavelength scale (that is, the higher the frequency), the easier it becomes to penetrate the Heaviside layer, if we grant its existence at all. Radio Waves travel at the rate of, roughly, 186,000 miles each second. If observers at opposite sides of the earth were using chronometers, and if a signal were sent from one side of a certain time, the signal going out to the moon and reflected from it would be found to return to the earth in a litlle more than two and a half seconds. This would afford, therefore, a complete proff of the theory". (In Radio-Craft, April 1946)
Urls : http://histv2.free.fr/cros/crosbio.htm (last visited ) http://www.ieeeghn.org/wiki/images/b/be/Parkes_and_21cm_History.pdf (last visited ) http://durenberger.com/resources/documents/1927MOONRADIOREDUX1946.pdf (last visited )

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