The Arecibo Telescope in 2019
|Alternative names||National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center |
|Named after|| Arecibo |
|Organization|| University of Central Florida |
|Location|| Arecibo, Puerto Rico, United States of America |
|Altitude||498 m (1,634 ft) |
|Telescopes||Arecibo 12m radio telescope|
National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center
|Area||118 acres (48 ha)|
|Architect||Kavanaugh, T. C.|
|Engineer||von Seb, Inc., T. C. Kavanaugh of Praeger-Kavanagh, and Severud-Elstad-Krueger Associates|
|NRHP reference No.||07000525|
|Added to NRHP||September 23, 2008|
The Arecibo Observatory, also known as the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (NAIC), is an observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico owned by the US National Science Foundation (NSF).
The observatory's main instrument was the Arecibo Telescope, a 305 m (1,000 ft) spherical reflector dish built into a natural sinkhole, with a cable-mount steerable receiver and several radar transmitters for emitting signals mounted 150 m (492 ft) above the dish. Completed in 1963, it was the world's largest single-aperture telescope for 53 years, surpassed in July 2016 by the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) in China. Following two cable breaks supporting the receiver platform in the prior months, the NSF stated on November 19, 2020 it was decommissioning the telescope for safety concerns, but before controlled demolition could be conducted, the remaining cables failed on December 1, 2020, causing catastrophic structural failure to the telescope. No injuries were reported in the collapse.
The observatory also includes a radio telescope, a Lidar facility, and a visitor's center, all which are expected to remain operational after the damage from the main telescope collapse is assessed.
The observatory's main feature was its large radio telescope, whose main collecting dish was an inverted spherical dome 1,000 feet (305 m) in diameter with an 869-foot (265 m) radius of curvature, constructed inside a karst sinkhole. The dish's surface was made of 38,778 perforated aluminum panels, each about 3 by 7 feet (1 by 2 m), supported by a mesh of steel cables. The ground beneath supported shade-tolerant vegetation. Two cable breaks, one in August 2020 and a second in November 2020, threatened the structural integrity of the support structure for the suspended platform and damaged the dish. As a result the NSF decided to decommission the telescope in November 2020, but before the demolition could begin, several of the remaining support cables suffered a critical failure and the support structure, antenna, and dome assembly all fell into the dish at 7:55 A.M. local time on December 1, 2020. The telescope was used as the backdrop of a sequence in GoldenEye, and has appeared in other Hollywood films.
The Arecibo Observatory also has other facilities beyond the main telescope, including a 12-meter (39 ft) radio telescope intended for very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) with the main telescope; and a LIDAR facility whose research has continued since the main telescope's collapse.
Opened in 1997, the Ángel Ramos Foundation Visitor Center features interactive exhibits and displays about the operations of the radio telescope, astronomy and atmospheric sciences.The center is named after the financial foundation that honors Ángel Ramos, owner of the El Mundo newspaper and founder of Telemundo. The Foundation provided half of the funds to build the Visitor Center, with the remainder received from private donations and Cornell University.
The center, in collaboration with the Caribbean Astronomical Society,host a series of Astronomical Nights throughout the year, which feature diverse discussions regarding exoplanets, and astronomical phenomena and discoveries (such as Comet ISON). The main purpose of the center is to increase public interest in astronomy, the observatory's research successes, and space endeavors.
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A primary mirror is the principal light-gathering surface of a reflecting telescope.
A radio telescope is a specialized antenna and radio receiver used to detect radio waves from astronomical radio sources in the sky. Radio telescopes are the main observing instrument used in radio astronomy, which studies the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum emitted by astronomical objects, just as optical telescopes are the main observing instrument used in traditional optical astronomy which studies the light wave portion of the spectrum coming from astronomical objects. Unlike optical telescopes, radio telescopes can be used in the daytime as well as at night.
Frank Donald Drake is an American astronomer and astrophysicist. He is involved in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, including the founding of SETI, mounting the first observational attempts at detecting extraterrestrial communications in 1960 in Project Ozma, developing the Drake equation, and as the creator of the Arecibo Message, a digital encoding of an astronomical and biological description of the Earth and its lifeforms for transmission into the cosmos.
Radio astronomy is a subfield of astronomy that studies celestial objects at radio frequencies. The first detection of radio waves from an astronomical object was in 1932, when Karl Jansky at Bell Telephone Laboratories observed radiation coming from the Milky Way. Subsequent observations have identified a number of different sources of radio emission. These include stars and galaxies, as well as entirely new classes of objects, such as radio galaxies, quasars, pulsars, and masers. The discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation, regarded as evidence for the Big Bang theory, was made through radio astronomy.
Arecibo may refer to:
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Grote Reber was an American pioneer of radio astronomy, which combined his interests in amateur radio and amateur astronomy. He was instrumental in investigating and extending Karl Jansky's pioneering work, and conducted the first sky survey in the radio frequencies.
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The Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry European Research Infrastructure Consortium (JIVE) was established by a decision of the European Commission in December 2014, and assumed the activities and responsibilities of the JIVE foundation, which was established in December 1993. JIVE's mandate is to support the operations and users of the European VLBI Network (EVN), in the widest sense.
William Edwin Gordon was a physicist and astronomer. He was referred to as the "father of the Arecibo Observatory".
Sixto A. González was the Director of the Arecibo Observatory from September 29, 2003 to September 15, 2006. Arecibo Observatory was an astronomical observatory located in Puerto Rico. At the time of González's directorship Arecibo was the world's largest single dish radio telescope. González was the first Puerto Rican in the position of Director of the observatory.
The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope, nicknamed Tianyan, is a radio telescope located in the Dawodang depression (大窝凼洼地), a natural basin in Pingtang County, Guizhou, southwest China. FAST has a fixed 500 m (1,600 ft) diameter dish constructed in a natural depression in the landscape. It is the world's largest filled-aperture radio telescope and the second-largest single-dish aperture, after the sparsely-filled RATAN-600 in Russia.
The Arecibo Telescope was a 305 m (1,000 ft) spherical reflector dish built into a natural sinkhole at the Arecibo Observatory. A cable-mount steerable receiver was mounted 150 m (492 ft) above the dish, and several radar transmitters for emitting signals. Completed in November 1963, the Arecibo Telescope was the world's largest single-aperture telescope for 53 years, surpassed in July 2016 by the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) in China.
Tor Hagfors was a Norwegian scientist, radio astronomer, radar expert and a pioneer in the studies of the interactions between electromagnetic waves and plasma. In the early 1960s he was one of a handful of pioneering theorists that independently developed a theory that explained the scattering of radio waves by the free electrons in a plasma and applied the result to the ionosphere. He became founding director of the new EISCAT facilities that were then under construction in 1975, by which time he already been director at most of the other incoherent scatter radar facilities in the world. The asteroid 1985 VD1 is named 7279 Hagfors after him.
Martha Patricia Haynes is an American astronomer who specializes in radio astronomy and extragalactic astronomy. She is the Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University. She has been on a number of high-level committees within the US and International Astronomical Community, including Advisory Committee for the Division of Engineering and Physical Sciences of the National Academies (2003–2008) and Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Review. She was a Vice-President of the Executive Committee of the International Astronomical Union from 2006–2012, and has been on the Board of Trustees of Associated Universities Inc since 1994.
Riccardo Giovanelli is an Italian born astronomer. He is an emeritus professor of astronomy at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, United States.
The Green Bank Observatory is an astronomical observatory located in the National Radio Quiet Zone in Green Bank, West Virginia, U.S. It is the operator of the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope.
Daniel R. Altschuler is a Uruguayan physicist linked in his professional activity to the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, where he was director from 1992 to 2003. He is a writer, known for his science outreach work, and is very sensitive to the distinction between science and pseudoscience. In 2010 he received the Andrew Gemant Award from the American Institute of Physics.
At the Arecibo Observatory, a mix of shade-tolerant species have colonized the area beneath the 305-meter radio telescope dish.
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