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Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico completes renovations benefiting outreach and science


May 16, 2016 - After seven months of renovation, the Arecibo Observatory Science and Visitors Center will host a grand reopening on May 18, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. The center features several new interactive exhibits that aim to expand the knowledge and curiosity of visitors.



For more than 50 years the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has made significant contributions to the scientific community in the areas of radio astronomy, radar astronomy and atmospheric science. Among many accomplishments over the past year, the Arecibo radar has detected a record number of near-Earth asteroids and for the first time, detected repeated bursts of radio waves from a source well beyond the edge of our Milky Way galaxy.

In order to sustain and continue these important science operations, the observatory also underwent platform maintenance from February through March 2016. Crew members worked for weeks to sand blast and paint the telescope's azimuth arm with lead-free paint. Full motion of the telescope has been restored and normal operations for observing have resumed.

Arecibo Observatory Maintenance Crew

Photo shows the maintenance crew on the platform (left to right): Miguel Nieves, Heriberto Toledo, Jose Chacon, Edwin Gonzalez, Joselito Diaz, Jose Anibal Rosado, Angel Millet, Christian Maldonado, Juan Rodriguez, Carmelo Sein, and Arturo Rodriguez. Not shown: Hiram Crespo and Jaime Gago. (Photo courtesy of telescope operator Israel Cabrera.)

The Arecibo Observatory is operated by SRI International in alliance with Ana G. Méndez-Universidad Metropolitana and the Universities Space Research Association, under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (AST-1100968). The Arecibo Planetary Radar program is supported by NASA's Near Earth Object Observation program.

Additional coverage regarding the Arecibo Observatory Science and Visitors Center from news outlets in Puerto Rico:



About USRA

Universities Space Research Association is an independent, nonprofit research corporation where the combined efforts of in-house talent and university-based expertise merge to advance space science and technology. USRA works across disciplines including biomedicine, planetary science, astrophysics, and engineering and integrates those competencies into applications ranging from fundamental research to facility management and operations. USRA engages the creativity and authoritative expertise of the research community to develop and deliver sophisticated, forward-looking solutions to Federal agencies and other government sponsors.

 
Arecibo Observatory Maintenance Crew

Photo shows the maintenance crew on the platform (left to right): Miguel Nieves, Heriberto Toledo, Jose Chacon, Edwin Gonzalez, Joselito Diaz, Jose Anibal Rosado, Angel Millet, Christian Maldonado, Juan Rodriguez, Carmelo Sein, and Arturo Rodriguez. Not shown: Hiram Crespo and Jaime Gago. (Photo courtesy of telescope operator Israel Cabrera.)