Seventh NAIC/NRAO Single-Dish Summer School

Arecibo Observatory
July 10 – 17, 2013

Second Announcement - Further Details

Hands-on Projects:

All participants will take part in a “Hands-on Project” at the single-dish school. Mentored by a member of the NAIC or NRAO staff, each of you will join a team of 3 or 4 participants to perform a short pre-planned research-style observation. The participants will set up the observation, take the data, perform data reduction, interpret the results, and give a short presentation on teh project on the last day of the School.

We ask that you review the 15 projects described at At the bottom of this page you should then record your four preferred selections in the order of your preference. We apologize in advance if you do not get your first choice, as the number of participants per project is limited to 3 or 4.


Some participants are bringing posters to the school. Our poster easels are 48" x 36" (122 x 91.5 cm) with their longest dimension horizontal, and so should fit ANSI-E or A0 posters in landscape format. Posters will be set-up on the 10th (Wednesday) for those that arrive in time, or otherwise on the 11th (Thursday).

Registration and Opening Reception:

Registration will be open all afternoon of the 10th (Wednesday) in the Arecibo Observatory library, and again on the morning of the 11th (Thursday) in the Learning Center. The opening reception and dinner by the pool will be on the 10th (Wednesday) from 6pm onwards.

Getting to the Observatory:

Arrangements are being made for buses to pick up attendees at San Juan airport. We will be running a number of buses during the day but we are still working on the details. We hope to be able to provide these by the end of the week.

For those renting cars, directions to the Observatory from the airport can be found at and a map of the local area can be found at (the Parador El Buen Cafe is on Route 2, just past the end of the Route 22 autopista in Hatillo, at the top-left of this map). Be wary of following GPS directions to the Observatory – many GPS road maps do not distinguish between different qualities of rural roads in Puerto Rico so you may end up on a track unsuitable for motor vehicles.

Platform visit:

We are hoping to run short visits to the telescope platform. If you wish to take advantage of this opportunity, you will need to wear stout shoes with flat heels (no open sandals, flip-flops, or Crocs). Unfortunately as observations will be ongoing at the time of the visits, digital photography will not be allowed. Film cameras will be permitted, and we will have single-use film cameras for sale at the Observatory shop.

Telephone Calls from Arecibo Observatory:

You a likely to want to make telephone calls while at Arecibo Observatory. However, we point out that the use of cell phones within or near the Observatory grounds is STRICTLY PROHIBITED due to the associated Radio Frequency Interference (RFI), which will disturb observations being made with the telescope. For participants in hotels in the Arecibo area, cell phones can be used safely from there. For those staying on-site, or for others wishing to make calls from the Observatory grounds, we urge you to bring a telephone calling card with you. When you purchase these, make sure that they are cards that will work from Puerto Rico.

Other Details for Participants:

The temperatures at the Observatory in July are typically in the mid-80s F/around 30 C by day, dipping to the mid-70s F/around 25 C) at night. Rainfall is likely to occur rather frequently during July. Hence, while summer clothing is appropriate, a light sweater may be needed for the evenings, and also in the air-conditioned rooms, lecture theater and control room of the Observatory.

The Observatory site is deep in the countryside, and we would recommend that participants bring at least one stout pair of shoes, such as tennis shoes/trainers. “Closed shoes” are also obligatory for the planned trip for participants to the platform of the 305-m telescope.

The Observatory possesses a swimming pool, which participants will be welcome to use outside the hours of classes, etc. Please come prepared.

Consider bringing a bottle of insect repellent (e.g. Off or similar) with you.

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