Arecibo Observatory.


At the Arecibo Observatory we are always looking for ways to improve our connections and collaborations; and we are excited about our new site which includes a redesigned look, changes to navigation and updated information on our Science and Visitor’s Center. So take a look around and enjoy! We hope you find it entertaining and informative. I also encourage you to visit us in person, our state of the art Science and Visitor’s Center blends Arecibo’s scientific accomplishments with current technology to provide a user experience like no other. We hope to see you soon!

- Francisco Cordova, MSCE, PE
Director of the Arecibo Observatory


Why is it so special?

This giant telescope has scrutinized our atmosphere from a few kilometers to a thousand kilometers where it smoothly connects with interplanetary space. With its radar vision it studies the properties of planets, comets and asteroids. In our Galaxy it detects the faint pulses emitted hundreds of times per second from pulsars. And from the farthest reaches of the Universe quasars and galaxies emit radio waves which arrive at earth 100 million years later as signals so weak that they can only be detected by a giant eye like this one.

Planetary Radar

The Observatory’s planetary radar is a uniquely powerful instrument for the characterization and orbital refinement of NEO’s. The Arecibo Telescope has collected data on Mercury, Venus, Jovian Satellites, Saturn’s Rings and satellites, numerous asteroids and comets


The Arecibo Observatory Radio Telescope provide alternative views to optical telescopes. It can detect invisible gas and and can reveal areas of space that may be obscured with cosmic dust.


The Observatory’s incoherent scatter radar, combined with its extensive suite of optical LIDAR and airglow instrumentation provide a unique capability for studies of the earth’s upper atmosphere.

Education & Outreach

The newly refurbished and extended Science & Visitor Center, modernized exhibition space and state-of-the-art auditorium welcome nearly 100,000 visitors a year and support STEM education at all levels throughout Puerto Rico and Beyond.

Our telescope

The Vision

Toward 2025 the Arecibo Observatory (AO) will continue to be recognized as a world-leading radio astronomy, solar system radar and atmospheric physics facility, contributing highly relevant data to support discovery, innovation and the advancement of science for the well-being of human kind. AO will establish a world-class on-site and virtual educational program supporting K-16 and PhD-level studies, to stimulate and promote new generations of scientists and engineers at national level, while also contributing to the economic and social development of Puerto Rico.

"If you dream, have big dreams and have talented supporters to help you”

William "Bill" Gordon

Arecibo Observatory

Recent Discoveries

What's happening at the AO?

Recent News


Impact of the thermospheric neutrla winds on the MSTIDS ocurrence rate.


First complete range-resolved climatology of gravity wave (GW) potential energy derived from AO temperature LIDAR data in the tropical mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT).