version is published by RSGB
Radio Society of Great Britain
Radio signals are not, as is commonly thought, recent phenomena. Nature has spoken through radio signals since the origins of the Universe. Radio Nature is fascinating look at these signals, a guide to receiving and analysing them.
Radio Nature describes these strange signals coming from our own planet and beyond. There is information about tweeks, insects, whistlers, choruses and even flying saucers (nothing to do with spaceships). Readers are provided with details of artificial and false signals that can confuse the natural radio listener. For the more committed there are designs for simple receiving equipment and antennas along with guides to how you can use simple receiving equipment to hear natural radio. The book also explains how to try to predict storms and even earthquakes using the signals that can be captured.
Radio Nature is truly a book for all. If you are a beginner the book opens up a fascinating area for you. For the more committed this provides a comprehensive guide to natural radio and useful reference work.
Italiano è distribuito da
(where to buy the italian version):
Libri Bloo http://libri.bloo.it
Sandit Libri http://www.sanditmarket.it
comune che la nascita dei segnali radio corrisponda con le scoperte
di Marconi. La Natura in realtà esprime la sua voce attraverso
radio fin dalle origini del nostro pianeta. Questo libro è un
viaggio in questo mondo, alla scoperta di suggestivi segnali simili a
cori e voci, ed ai vari sistemi con cui è possibile riceverli.
This book is dedicated to the memory of the late
Ezio Mognaschi, 1940-2006:
Friend, research partner, and professor of Physics at Pavia University,Italy
ABOUT THE BOOK CONTENTS
In a highly technological
age, such as the time we now live in, we are surrounded
by many electronic devices, which manage the even most basic everyday
operations, where they can be useless or useful. We are so used to this presence,
so we consider it part of the environment we see every morning on waking up.
Telecommunication development is certainly one of the main focal points of
this revolution: from telephones to radio communications, from Internet to
satellite navigation, from TV to space explorations with Earth controlled probes;
there is no doubt that the single human’s horizon is much larger. It is clear that
we are connected in real time to everything that happens on our planet. We still
have to see how much this can help improve our self knowledge. We will let
philosophers and sociologists consider that.
After all this is said,
idea of listening to natural radio signals - those that
are not emitted by a man standing somewhere, or a radio speaker or a modem -
leaves us a little disorientated. Today, when we talk about radio signals, we mean
the TV, radio, mobile phones, remote controls, or other communication systems
linked to something technological.
Nature gives us a powerful device, the radio signal, to observe what is around
us. We must be careful not to forget that most of the advanced knowledge we have
today about the universe comes from observations done with radio telescopes, and
not with observations in an optical field.
Even our planet is a radio
signal source, mainly at low frequencies: every one
of us has, at one time, listened to crackly radio noises on the medium wave during
a storm! Different natural phenomena such as Auroras, earthquakes and storms
create radio signals and these signals can be studied with very simple and cheap
devices. The particular sound of these signals makes them unique and very
fascinating. They deserve a precise definition: “Radio Nature”.
Unfortunately, the advanced technology which is in all of our houses has its
bad side: many of the objects we use are so complex and contain so many hours of
scientific research that they become “black boxes” and we use only the final
functions. In a mobile phone, for instance, we only use a set of fifteen buttons and
we have no idea of what happens inside it; if we were to be transported suddenly
onto a desert island, we would never be able to make one of them, but then even a
seller or a constructor, or a repairman would not be able to make one the these
It couldn’t be different!
We’ve lost the direct physical contact with what
surrounds us. We just have to think of the objects that meant technology for our
grandparents. Let’s think of the old wooden cuckoo wall-clock, very complicated
and full of cogs. What happened inside the clock was directly visible; springs,
cogs, mechanical movements; no micro-technology, no software or program
It seems like scientific research by the individual belongs to the past or that it
is possible only in hyper-technological environments; thankfully this is not true!
The availability of very cheap, but powerful devices, such as the computer, makes
possible today home experiments that once were done only in university settings
where financial support was available. The contents of this book will show how
this is now possible.
This book was born from
experience of an amateur radio operator, who
very quickly diverted from long distance communication (DX) to the study of
Radio Nature. The following pages include a description of these signals, an
explanation of how they originate and how to build a receiving station.
Whilst describing the physical environment where these signals develop and
propagate, I will mention other kinds of emissions which are not really “natural”.
For instance, signals generated from the mains network (better known as
electromagnetic pollution in ELF band) or very low frequency emissions for
submerged submarines etc. I will describe how these emissions originate and how
to recognize them when they are received.
This book doesn’t pretend
to be a complete tutorial about naturally
originating radio signals. Every subject covered in this book could fill another
book. There are very deep academic studies about these topics, done by
researchers who dedicate their existences to this activity. Internet technology
enables us to access these publications at any time and from home.
The objective of this book is to offer a panoramic view of this fascinating
subject, support for those who have no knowledge of this subject and yet, at the
same time, do not wish to spend months in reading scientific books in an attempt
gain an understanding. To this end we will talk about the main sources, and the
propagation of natural radio signals, by simplifying, sometimes with simple
analogies, the more complicated concepts, which are at the foundation of the birth
of these signals. For this reason, I have chosen not to include mathematical
equations to explain these physical phenomena: the very few formulas used are
very simple and they have a practical use during the listening and the study of the
The undoubted fascination
of these signals, together with their very clear way
of originating, have attracted the attention of particular type of “scientific”
thought. The resemblance of some signals to human moans and to spectral
whistles, have done the rest. For this reason some people have connected these
signals to extraterrestrial beings and to thought transmission from this to another
world; who wouldn’t like to have such experience? It is certain that every time we
approach a new topic, we should have no prejudice, especially when we do not
have much information about the subject!
There is, however, a very big difference between having an open mind and
having the strong wish to believe in something in what we want to believe.
In this book we don’t talk about spirits or extraterrestrial contacts, nor
telepathy: after dozens of years of recording there is no certain proof about “life”
after death. Does this make the subject rational and boring? Not when you
approach a subject in a scientific way, in this case the reality can be more exciting