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March 9, 1996
Arecibo: The Largest Telescope
Credit: National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Cornell University, National Science Foundation
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.
Authors & editors:
NASA Technical Rep.: Sherri Calvo. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC