SUNNY RADIO SIGNALS
Because most cosmic radio signals are very weak, radio astronomy demands large, sophisticated equipment. The Sun, however, the strongest radio source in the sky and this presents opportunities to the amateur with an interest in electronics.
Solar flares induce changes in the Earth's ionosphere—the layer of ionizid particles in the upper atmosphere. The ionosphere usually reflects very low frequency (VLF) signals (5 to 50 kilohertz), permitting long distance radio communication. Disruption of the ionosphere by a solar flare, however, can cause communications fade-out. You can monitor this effect with a radio receiver, antenna, and recorder that cost less than a medium-size reflector telescope.
The Sun itself can be detected with a short-wave receiver for 1 to 30 megahertz frequencies and a simple antenna. A radio-frequency preamplifier will improve the sensitivity of the system. You can even collect the Sun's signals using a backyard satellite dish, with minor modifications. The Small Radio Telescope at Haystack Observatory, Massachusetts, uses a 9 foot (2.8m) satellite dish to receive signals of gigahertz frequencies.