Recent News

What's happening at the AO?


New results from the AO Remote Optical Facility (ROF) have shown that certain wavelike perturbations in the Earth’s ionosphere are highly dependent on season in a variety of ways. For the first time, these perturbations – known as Medium Scale Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances (MSTIDs) - were conclusively shown to be modulated by the geomagnetic and solar activities.

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The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico is following an asteroid approaching Earth this week and while it poses no threat, it appears to know our planet is facing a pandemic. “The small-scale topographic features such as hills and ridges on one end of asteroid 1998 OR2 are fascinating scientifically,” says Anne Virkki, head of Planetary Radar at the observatory. “But since we are all thinking about COVID-19 these features make it look like 1998 OR2 remembered to wear a mask.” The National Science Foundation facility, which is managed by the University of Central Florida, has a team of experts who monitors near-Earth asteroids. This asteroid is in a special class of near-Earth asteroids called Potentially Hazardous Objects (PHOs).

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Education REU Students’ Research & Presentations

The AO Research Experience for Undergraduates and Teachers (REUT) program continues to serve as a remarkable program for developing future STEM researchers and teachers. The REUT program, funded by the National Science Foundation, welcomed eight students to the observatory in 2019: Daniel Repp, Fernando Hernández Millet, Gage Siebert, Megan Kenny, Mishaal Iysha Jan, Sophia Salazar, Yamil González Zuanznabar, and Bradley Rivera Muñiz. The on-site program coordinator for the Arecibo Observatory REUT program is Adelfa Vera Rosado. Read More

Space & Atmospheric Transforming the Arecibo Observatory into a Classroom

This past January, the Arecibo Observatory became the classroom for students from the Miami University in Ohio. Dr. Qihou Zhou, professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the university, has held the “Undergraduate Hands-on Experience with Incoherent Scatter Radar” three-week winter term course at the observatory for the past six years. Read More