Recent News

What's happening at the AO?


Though not visible to the naked eye or even with binoculars, the green-tailed Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova (HMP) did not escape the gaze of the world-renowned Arecibo Observatory. Scientists from the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory (LPL) and the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) at Arecibo Observatory have been studying the comet with radar to better understand its solid nucleus and the dusty coma that surrounds it.

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It’s amazing how much you can learn in ten weeks. MATLAB went from being this weird uncomfortable program to one I’m proficient in. I now know about the history of the Arecibo Telescope, from sinkhole to world-class telescope, with line feeds and super-complicated optics. I almost understand galactic HI observations.

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Distance is one of the most challenging properties to measure in astronomy – it is bootstrapped from nearby objects like the Sun and planets all the way out to galaxies and quasars. The Pleiades, a nearby star cluster, had served as a cornerstone for astronomical distance derivations and set the scale for other clusters.

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