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Directory Top > Research > Very Large Array & SETI (8)

One of the world's premier research facilities for radio astronomy. NRAO operates powerful, advanced radio telescopes spanning the western hemisphere. Scientists from around the world use these instruments to probe fundamental questions in astronomy and physics.

The Very Large Array, one of the world's premier astronomical radio observatories, consists of 27 radio antennas in a Y-shaped configuration on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico. Each antenna is 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter. The data from the antennas is combined electronically to give the resolution of an antenna 36km (22 miles) across, with the sensitivity of a dish 130 meters (422 feet) in diameter.

Aerial photos with explanations - "The Arecibo Radio Telescope Observatory is located in the Arecibo Basin in Puero Rico. The reason it is located there is for two factors: proximity to the equator and the deapth of the sperical depression. The proximity to the equator was important because without it, the site would not be able to observe planet's radio emmissions. And the reason for the sperical depression was so they could fill it with concrete and make their massive telescope's base."

UFOs Survey the Arecibo Radio Observatory   [New Window]
Has ET Answered the Call?
by: Jorge Martin, Puerto Rico

According to Mr. Martin, "The following are only but a fraction of many similar UFO incidents that have transpired close or right in the premises of the Arecibo Radio Observatory or 'the Big Ear' as some people in the astronomical community call it. In the near future we will report on more of these incidents, as most of them [I would say all of them] have never been known by the public before."

SETI League Photo Gallery   [New Window]
SETI League Moonbounce First Light

On numerous occasions during the past four decades, several of the world's largest radio telescopes have been used to reflect interesting microwave signals off the Lunar surface, introducing hundreds of the world's amateur radio operators to the exotic world of EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) communications, or moonbounce. In the third month of the 21st Century, radio amateurs at the nonprofit, grassroots SETI League had an opportunity to return the favor, by providing astronomers at the Arecibo Observatory with a highly stable, precisely calibrated moonbounce signal with which to test their equipment.

Arecibo: Celestial Eavesdropper   [New Window]
Article By Frederic Castel - 08 May 2000

"ARECIBO, Puerto Rico -- It is a space-age sentinel, rising out of the prehistoric jungles of Puerto Rico -- a 1,000-foot (305-meter) diameter aluminum "ear," cocked perpendicular to Earth, leaning into the sky, listening."

"For 37 years radio astronomers at the Arecibo Observatory have used this, the world's largest radio telescope, to fathom the radio signals of the cosmos. It has tuned in on the tumultuous songs buried in the hearts of stars and quasars that radiate from the very edge of the universe..." -[]-

Hundreds (100's) of images. "From July 16 through July 22, 1994, pieces of an object designated as Comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter. This is the first collision of two solar system bodies ever to be observed, and the effects of the comet impacts on Jupiter's atmosphere have been simply spectacular and beyond expectations. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 consisted of at least 21 discernable fragments with diameters estimated at up to 2 kilometers." -[Jet propulsion Laboratory]-

Mars Rover Takes Baby Steps   [New Window]
Launch: May/July 2003 - Landing: January 2004

"Like any travelers worth their frequent flyer miles, the twin rovers of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission must prepare for a long journey. Unlike airline passengers, however, the rovers won't have an attentive flight crew to tend to their needs. Instead, the twins face a daunting 460 million kilometer (286 million mile) voyage to Mars. To ensure their readiness, scientists and engineers at JPL are testing the rovers by simulating conditions they'll experience en route to and upon arrival at the red planet." -[Jet propulsion Laboratory]-

Note: this THEMIS visual image has not been radiometrically nor geometrically calibrated for this preliminary release. An empirical correction has been performed to remove instrumental effects. A linear shift has been applied in the cross-track and down-track direction to approximate spacecraft and planetary motion. Fully calibrated and geometrically projected images will be released through the Planetary Data System in accordance with Project policies at a later time.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the 2001 Mars Odyssey mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. The Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing.

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Build Date: Janurary 8, 2003
Last Updated: December 3, 2005