- (Jy)a unit used in radio astronomy to measure the strength, or more precisely the flux density, of radio signals from space. In measuring signal strength, it's necessary to take into account both the area of the receiving antenna and the width of the frequency band in which the signal occurs. Accordingly, one jansky equals a flux of 10-26 watts per square meter of receiving area per hertz of frequency band (W/m2Hz). Although it is not an SI unit, the jansky is approved by the International Astronomical Union and is widely used by astronomers. It honors Karl G. Jansky (1905-1950), the American electrical engineer who discovered radio waves from space in 1930. The jansky is sometimes called the flux unit.
Dictionary of units of measurement. 2015.