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Piha and “the Norfolk Island effect”

Posted by SCe Comments Off on Piha and “the Norfolk Island effect”

During WW2, Radar operators at the RNZAF Mt Bates Station on Norfolk Island noticed strange bursts of “radio noise” at sunset and sunrise. Les Hepburn, in charge of the station, reported these to his superiors in New Zealand.

Dr Elizabeth Alexander, in charge of radar research in the Radio Development Laboratory in Wellington, set about investigating this.

Five radar stations investigated the phenomenon over a period of months in 1945. Piha was one of those stations.

The outcome of this research was Dr Alexander’s realisation that at times of sunspot activity the sun was emitting radio waves, and this discovery was one of the most important in the beginnings of the science of radio astronomy.

In early 2013, people from all around the world interested in the beginning of radio astronomy visited New Zealand to look at the Pakiri and Piha sites, and some also went to Norfolk Island to investigate the site there.

These articles (below) appeared in the local paper, The Norfolk Islander. Some were written by Rodney Times writer, Delwyn Dickey.

norfolk islander 1

Norfolk Islander 2

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