Recent News

What's happening at the AO?


Planetary

While the recent successful landing of the Perseverance rover furthers robotic exploration of Mars, some scientists are preparing for the next kind of mission to the Red Planet: human exploration. A recent study published in the scientific journal Astrobiology chronicles laboratory analyses of geologic samples collected during the AMADEE-18 mission, a human–robotic Mars expedition simulation in the Dhofar region in the Sultanate of Oman. + Read More

Dylan's Talk @ Robinson School
Education

On November 18, 2020, Postdoctoral Research Scientist Dr. Dylan Hickson gave a virtual Space Exploration talk to a 7th grade class at the Robinson School in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The presentation focused primarily on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission to the asteroid Bennu, where on October 29, 2020 the spacecraft collected a sample of material from the surface to send back to the Earth, arriving in 2023. Dr. Hickson was motivated to work with this class because he knows that the complexity of space missions and their long durations can make public engagement difficult, especially for younger students. + Read More

Chemistry

While most of the scientists at the Arecibo Observatory are looking up into Earth’s atmosphere and into space, Dr. Abniel Machín de Jesús is focused on issues below our feet: replacing fossil fuels with clean, renewable resources. In a new study published in Biomimetics, Dr. Machín and his team analyzed catalysts - substances that accelerate the rates of chemical reactions - that are able to produce hydrogen via water splitting using only sunlight. + Read More

Atmospheric

The highly anticipated arrival of the Culebra Aerosol Research Lidar (CARLA) instrument container to the Arecibo Observatory occurred on February 5th, 2021. This marks the beginning of the installation of the new CARLA instrument that had been funded through a grant from the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust in 2020. + Read More

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