Recent News

What's happening at the AO?


With a new vision on efficient operations, services, processes, and a healthier work environment in diverse aspects, the team has been planning, organizing and directing the maintenance, executing repairs, renovating buildings and grounds. Following efficient operation and managerial project management best practices, the Facilities and Operations Team has been very successful in the last couple of months. + Read More


On December 1st, 2020, the 900-ton instrument platform of the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico suffered a series of cascading catastrophic cable failures causing it to crash down into the telescope’s 305-meter reflector dish. This followed a November 2020 safety evaluation which found that the main platform support cables may not be capable of supporting the load expected and decommissioning should commence. 

By early January 2021, the University of Central Florida (UCF), operators of the Observatory for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and NSF established an Arecibo Observatory (AO) Salvage Survey Committee. + Read More


The purpose of the Data Catalog is to provide a user-friendly portal where users can browse, query, and explore the projects observed at Arecibo for more than 55 years. This catalog consolidates multiple data sources that have been built throughout AO's operation. The main component of the Data Catalog is the Projects Catalog, which provides all of the technical information about a proposal or project. This is essentially what the scientists would submit as a proposal to receive Arecibo observing time. The Data Catalog is complemented by the Observations Log, a Files Catalog and an Attributes Catalog. The Observations Log provides a detailed log recorded by the observing scientists for each project. The Files and Attributes catalogs contain all of the raw data files that were captured in the observations as well as key metadata of those files. + Read More

Space & Atmoshperic Sciences

The United Nations launched its sustainable development agenda in 2015, reflecting the growing understanding by Member States that a development model that is sustainable for this and future generations offers the best path forward for reducing poverty and improving the lives of people everywhere. With the idea of contributing to the sustainability development agenda of the United Nations, the Ángel Ramos Foundation Science and Visitor Center (ARFSVC) of the Arecibo Observatory installed a system to collect rain water and use it to flush the toilets of the Center. The system can collect up to 500 gallons of water and has already been installed. It is estimated that over 2,000 gallons of water can be saved per year using this system. “The rain collector will be part of the exhibitions of the ARFSVC where the visitors can learn the sciences and the we study at AO and, at the same time, learn about our compromise with the environment and sustainability” – said Dr. Abniel Machín, executive director of the Science and Visitor Center. + Read More