Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Arecibo Observatory

Radar dish, Arecibo Observatory.

Sent by Gomez from Puerto Rico.

This is from Wikipedia : The Arecibo Observatory is a radio telescope located close to the city of Arecibo in Puerto Rico. It is operated by Cornell University under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. The observatory works as the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (NAIC) although both names are officially used to refer to it. NAIC more properly refers to the organization that runs both the observatory and associated offices at Cornell University.

The observatory's 305 m (1,001 ft) radio telescope is the largest single-aperture telescope (cf. multiple aperture telescope) ever constructed. It carries out three major areas of research: radio astronomy, aeronomy (using both the 305 m telescope and the observatory's lidar facility), and radar astronomy observations of solar system objects. Usage of the telescope is gained by submitting proposals to the observatory, which are evaluated by an independent board of referees.

The telescope is visually distinctive and has been used in the filming of notable motion picture and television productions: as the villain's antenna in the James Bond movie GoldenEye, and Contact. The telescope received additional international recognition in 1999 when it began to collect data for the SETI@home project.

The center was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2008. The listing was announced as the featured listing in the National Park Service's weekly list of October 16, 2009.

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