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Arecibo Observatory
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Report calls Arecibo Observatory 'uniquely powerful' for detecting near-Earth objects
The Arecibo Observatory provides "unmatched precision and accuracy" in detecting asteroids or comets that could hit the Earth, says a report by the National Academy of Sciences. That statement could help secure the observatory's future.
The world-famous, Cornell-run radio telescope's unsurpassed capabilities for taking precise, clear pictures of these near-earth objects (NEOs) are laid out plainly in the recently released interim report, "Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies." Mandated by Congress in 2008, the report was written by a survey committee appointed by the National Research Council, which is the operational arm of the National Academy of Sciences. A final report is due out in December.

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RE: Arecibo RadioTelescope
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Save the Telescope, Save the Planet
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The Planetary Society today joined with US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, 46th District of California, to call for greater support for near-Earth object research and continued funding of the Arecibo radiotelescope to track potentially threatening objects in space.  They were joined at the press conference by Alan W. Harris, Senior Research Scientist of the Space Science Institute, and Don Yeomans, Manager of NASAs Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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RE: Arecibo RadioTelescope
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On May 22, Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico joined other telescopes in North America, South America, Europe and Africa in simultaneously observing the same targets, simulating a telescope more than 6,800 miles (almost 11,000 kilometers) in diameter.
The telescopes are all members of the Express Production Real-time e-VLBI Service (EXPReS) project, and May 22 marked a live demonstration of their first four-continent, real-time, electronic Very Long Baseline Interferometry (e-VLBI) observations.

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The financially strapped Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has a new patron in New York senator and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton -- just weeks before the island's Democratic primary.
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Scientists at Puerto Ricos Arecibo Telescope, run by Cornell University, found a rare asteroid last month with two moons only seven million miles from Earth a breakthrough for a facility in the midst of serious budget woes.

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Its future may be uncertain, but if the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico is headed into mothballs it will go there with a fresh coat of paint.
Workers have finished a six-month refurbishing of the 900-ton platform that holds the telescopes receiving and transmitting equipment. Officials at Cornell, which operates Arecibo, said that with the repainting, the 44-year-old instrument, the most sensitive radio telescope on the planet, should be good for 30 or 40 more years.

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After receiving its first fresh, full coat of paint in more than 40 years, Arecibo Observatory made its first observation in more than six months at 6:36 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 8.
The giant paint job was critical for ensuring the observatory's safety and structural integrity.
The telescope focused on the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, which travels closer to the sun than any other numbered asteroid -- about twice as close to the sun as the planet Mercury. Phaethon is the source of the Geminid meteor shower, which causes streams of shooting stars every December.

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Members of the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics were told that the devastating consequences of a large asteroid striking the Earth, while unlikely, demand continuation of NASAs surveying and cataloguing of Near Earth Objects (NEOs).  Members also learned that the Arecibo Observatory, located in Puerto Rico, provides a unique capability to precisely monitor the orbits of asteroids and comets that venture close to Earth.  In 1998, NASA was tasked with detecting, tracking, cataloguing and monitoring NEOs, and while NASA has been largely successful in meeting the original goals of its mission, there are still numerous potentially threatening NEOs that go undetected.

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Congress gets bill to save Arecibo Observatory
Congressmen Luis Fortuņo of Puerto Rico and Dana Rohrabacher of California have introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to ensure continued operation of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. They want to guarantee future federal funding for the astronomical and radar-imaging facility.

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