Arecibo Observatory

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Message 2021073 - Posted: 29 Nov 2019, 16:25:47 UTC

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2019/11/29/Iconic-space-observatory-in-Puerto-Rico-recovers-after-Hurricane-Maria/4561573856192/?ls=1
Iconic space observatory in Puerto Rico recovers after Hurricane Maria
ARECIBO, Puerto Rico, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- The world's most powerful radio space telescope, which was damaged by Hurricane Maria two years ago, is being repaired slowly under new management determined to maintain it as a hub of interstellar discovery.

The iconic Arecibo Observatory, famous for its appearance in movies such as 1995's GoldenEye and Species, and 1997's Contact, has brought two scientists Nobel Prizes and achieved worldwide acclaim for its research efforts.

For decades, Arecibo has had a key role in detecting dangerous near-Earth asteroids that could destroy civilization should they hit the planet, and NASA awarded the facility $19 million for that program in August.

"We have a plan to revive Arecibo, and it includes building our science team, providing better access for visitors and seeking a new, more reliable power source for the region and for the observatory," said Ramon Lugo, director at the University of Central Florida's space institute in Orlando. The university is the new manager.

"People have argued that a combination of smaller telescopes could replace Arecibo, but the government would have to restore this site to its original condition if we left it, and we would lose the talent and the great facilities we already have here," Lugo said.

The site is owned by the National Science Foundation, which has had flat budgets for the past 10 years. The agency decided after the hurricane not to shutter Arecibo, but to pass facility management on to a group led by the University of Central Florida. The new leaders has received grants from the science organization and NASA for five years as it tries to develop new income from commercial enterprise and tourists.

Nestled in the hilly Puerto Rican interior, Arecibo is reachable only by helicopter or a long, twisty country road. About 120 people work at the observatory, 20 of whom are resident scientists. A small team of scientists and staff rode out Maria there.

The facility suffered about $4 million to $8 million in damage when Maria strafed the island in September 2017. Roofs and windows were wrecked on the observatory's buildings, but the dish and telescope remained mostly intact. A large antenna on the telescope broke off in the storm, and that has hampered work on scanning the atmosphere.

Trees and storm debris took weeks to clean up, and generators that were intended for sporadic use with the telescope were damaged by running 24 hours a day for four months.

When the university's staff walked the property for the first time, members found maintenance records on index cards and no running inventory in the warehouse, Lugo said.

"Scientists aren't trained to manage programs or facilities in general. We've brought in some new staff as needed," he said.

Lugo is the former director of NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. As a child in Puerto Rico, he visited the observatory. He visited again decades later representing NASA -- before Maria hit.

"I kind of noticed that, while it was still a great place, it was suffering from a lack of enthusiasm," Lugo said. "At that point, I thought that if I ever had the chance to do something about it, I would."

The university's partners at Arecibo are Puerto Rico's Ana G. Mendez University System, which runs the visitor center, and Yang Enterprises, an engineering consulting firm based in an Orlando suburb.

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Message 2021082 - Posted: 29 Nov 2019, 16:45:22 UTC

I am getting Arecibo tasks recorded on November 27. This on Science United.
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Message 2021110 - Posted: 29 Nov 2019, 20:35:19 UTC - in response to Message 2021082.  

I am getting Arecibo tasks recorded on November 27. This on Science United.
We've all been getting that work. ;-)

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Message 2022681 - Posted: 11 Dec 2019, 0:28:17 UTC

How many telescopes are owned or operated by SETI for SETI@home, and how much of the sky do they cover?
Philosophies:

  • Intuitionist
  • Moral functionalist
  • Humean about motivations
  • Panpsychist leaning; optimistic about combination problem
  • Agnostic; sympathetic to prime movers

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Message 2022685 - Posted: 11 Dec 2019, 1:06:00 UTC - in response to Message 2022681.  

How many telescopes are owned or operated by SETI for SETI@home, and how much of the sky do they cover?
None, but we do currently piggy back data from both Arecibo and Green Bank Telescopes while the Parkes Telescope in Australia is also suppose to come online and supply data at some time.

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Message 2022687 - Posted: 11 Dec 2019, 1:31:25 UTC - in response to Message 2022685.  
Last modified: 11 Dec 2019, 1:31:55 UTC

None, but we do currently piggy back data from both Arecibo and Green Bank Telescopes while the Parkes Telescope in Australia is also suppose to come online and supply data at some time.

Oh, so it's more like these telescopes collect excess data not of interest to the people running them, but SETI@home can process it and receives it from them?

Can't wait for another telescope to come online and provide data for analysis by our massively parallel processing.

Thanks.
Philosophies:

  • Intuitionist
  • Moral functionalist
  • Humean about motivations
  • Panpsychist leaning; optimistic about combination problem
  • Agnostic; sympathetic to prime movers

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Profile Gary Charpentier Crowdfunding Project Donor*Special Project $75 donorSpecial Project $250 donor
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Message 2022694 - Posted: 11 Dec 2019, 1:49:45 UTC - in response to Message 2022687.  
Last modified: 11 Dec 2019, 1:51:05 UTC

None, but we do currently piggy back data from both Arecibo and Green Bank Telescopes while the Parkes Telescope in Australia is also suppose to come online and supply data at some time.

Oh, so it's more like these telescopes collect excess data not of interest to the people running them, but SETI@home can process it and receives it from them?

Can't wait for another telescope to come online and provide data for analysis by our massively parallel processing.
Close but not quite. They share the data, so it may be of interest to them as well. Think two (or more) copies of the same photo.
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Message boards : SETI@home Science : Arecibo Observatory


 
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