astronomer search for "faint" radio static from cosmic objects.
Increasingly, the signals they are searching for are lost in the
"din" of terrestrial radio communications, particularly the requirements
of cellular phones and other modern communications using satellites.
Major political battles loom as the demands of business clash with
the need to protect certain important channels for radio astronomy.
S. "Lost Space: Rising Din Threatens Radio Astronomy" in Science
News, Sep. 11, 1999, vol. 156, p. 168. Good summary of current
J. "Radio Pollution: The Invisible Threat to Radio Astronomy" in
Astronomy & Geophysics (a journal of the Royal Astronomical
Society), Dec. 1999, vol. 40, issue 6, p. 8. Good review from a
N. & Clegg, A. "What Should We Do about Radio Interference?" in
Mercury, Sep/Oct. 1995, p. 10. A point-counterpoint discussion.
T. "Europe's Radio Astronomers Score in Spectrum Battle" in Physics
Today, Oct. 1998, p. 75. Brief news item about Iridium satellites.
C. "The Allocation of the Radio Spectrum" in Scientific American,
Feb. 1980. Saving the "channels" radio astronomers need from being
used for terrestrial purposes.
V. "Protecting Radio Windows for Astronomy" in Sky & Telescope,
Apr. 1981, p. 308.
J. "Will the Sun Set on Radio Astronomy?" in Sky & Telescope,
Apr. 1997, p. 40. Explains the "pollution" of the radio spectrum
by human activities.
Phones Threaten Radio Telescope" in Science, vol. 278, p.
1569 (28 Nov. 1997). Short news article on a problem in India.
Preventing the Contamination of Earth or Other Worlds
our robot probes travel to the other bodies in our solar system,
and even begin to return samples of these other worlds to Earth,
we must confront the issue of planetary contamination. How do we
keep our microbes from hitching a ride to other worlds, and how
do we prevent any possible microbes from Mars or Europa (for example)
from returning to Earth and (possibly) harming life on our planet?
E., ed. Beyond Spaceship Earth: Environmental Ethics and the
Solar System. 1886, Sierra Club Books. Essays on exploiting
or preserving planets, on implications of space exploration, on
pollution in space, etc.
R. "The Natural Universe" in Mercury, Jan/Feb. 1997, p. 27.
An environmental reporter muses on the effects the discovery of
life on Mars would have on our concerns for the environment.
R. "To Preserve and Protect" in Mercury, Mar/Apr. 1999, p.
33. Proposes an astro-environmental view for space exploration.
D. "The Real Men in Black" in Astronomy, July 1999, p. 36.
Profile of John Rummel, NASA's Planetary Protection Officer, whose
task it is to see that micro-organisms from other worlds don't contaminate
M. & Rummel, J. "Bring 'em Back Alive (or at Least Carefully)" in
Ad Astra (the journal of the National Space Society), Jan/Feb.
1999, p. 37. [This article is also available on line; see below.]
C., et al. "Planetary Protection" in The Planetary Report
(the magazine of the Planetary Society), Jul/Aug. 1994, p. 3. Special
issue devoted to the topic.
I would like to thank Margaret Race and David Finley
for their assistance with this bibliography.