live sound collage broadcasts

Lyrid meteor shower 2012, taken by astronaut Don Petit from aboard the International Space Station, with audio from this episode of Special Collections...

Meteor showers, or shooting stars, occur as dust and debris from space ignites as it collides with the Earth’s atmosphere.  This ignition leaves behind a trail of ionization in the upper atmosphere that reflects and scatters radio waves back towards the earth.  By tuning a radio to an empty part of the band one can hear the meteor tail reflect a distant radio signal that is normally out of range.  This split second of signal reception from beyond the horizon manifests as a spooky echo.  In this way even meteors which are unseen may be mapped and recorded.

The Lyrid meteor shower occurs each April as the Earth travels through debris left behind by comet Thatcher, which last visited our solar system in 1861.  This year the Lyrids are visiting from April 16-25 with the peak having occured this morning, April 23.  

This timely edition of Special Collections showcases meteor radio echoes of the Lyrid shower recorded in the early hours of this morning using Software Defined Radio tuned to the broadcast of CITO-TV, a VHF television station broadcasting at 55.2 MHz located in Timmins, Ontario, Canada.


Broadcast date: April 23rd 2019
KCHUNG Los Angeles 1630AM

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS is a broadcast project by Sam Rowell.
Each edition is mixed live on the air.