Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

November 29, 1998
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
 the highest resolution version available.

Arecibo: The Largest Telescope
Credit: National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Cornell U., NSF

Explanation: The Arecibo radio telescope is currently the largest single-dish telescope in the world. First opening in 1963, this 305 meter (1000 foot) radio telescope resides in a natural valley of Puerto Rico. The Arecibo telescope has been used for many astronomical research projects, including searches and studies of pulsars, and mapping atomic and molecular gas in the Galaxy and the universe. As the Arecibo dish can also be used to send radio waves, it has bounced and recorded radiation off of planets in our Solar System, and has even broadcast messages to areas of the Galaxy that might contain intelligent extra-terrestrial life. Any person in the world may use the telescope, providing their proposal is selected by a review committee.

Tomorrow's picture: An Annotated Leonid

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.