A Radio Astronomer by the name of Dr David Morgan has released a tutorial/paper he wrote detailing how he uses the Funcube dongle Pro+ as a tool for radio astronomy. The Funcube dongle Pro+ is a software defined radio similar to the RTL-SDR, with higher cost, but better performance in some areas.
Dr Morgan uses his Funcube dongle with the SpectrumLab Windows software, which is a specialized audio analyzer. For the hardware, David uses a 3m focal plane dish antenna and a 1200 MHz high pass filter.
The paper goes into good detail about some of the technical side of radio astronomy, shows how to calibrate the telescope using the sun and also shows several measurements made. We note that the same procedures could also likely be done with the RTL-SDR.