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Arecibo Observatory gets $12.3 million grant

18 Aug 2019, 11:49 UTC
Arecibo Observatory gets $12.3 million grant
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The beam-steering mechanism and some antennas at world-famous Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Ferdinand Arroyo, from Sociedad de Astronomía del Caribe (Astronomical Society of the Caribbean) took this beautiful photo in 2014. Read more about this image.
You’ve likely seen photos – or a movie, or played a video game – featuring Arecibo Observatory’s radio telescope in Puerto Rico. It was the world’s largest single-aperture telescope from its completion in 1963 until July 2016, when China completed its Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST). Still, the big radio telescope at Arecibo – built into a natural depression in the landscape of this Caribbean island – is used for professional research not just in radio astronomy, but also for radar and atmospheric studies. And, in recent years, as multiple hurricanes have swept across the Caribbean, including Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, it’s been more of a struggle to keep the telescope in good repair. That is why the U.S. Congress has now supported emergency supplemental funds for the site. The new funds ($12.3 million, to be used over four years) represent an investment in Arecibo’s future.
Arecibo received a $2 million grant in June 2018, not long after Irma ...

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