Skip to comments.Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico’s famous telescope, is battered by Hurricane Maria
Posted on 09/21/2017 1:41:54 PM PDT by LibWhacker
The National Science Foundation has not heard from staff at the iconic Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria roared over the island.
A spokeswoman for NSF, which owns the observatory, said the agency hadn't received any official communications from Arecibo since 8 a.m. Wednesday before the eye of the storm passed over the telescope.
Two of the groups that helps manage the observatory, SRI International and the Universities Space Research Association, also hadn't heard from their staff on site. One observatory staff member who weathered the storm in the town of Arecibo contacted the association via shortwave radio on Thursday. That staff member reported that the power was out, trees knocked down, houses damaged and roads rendered impassable.
According to the NSF, the observatory is outfitted with generators and a well for water. The staff on site have enough fuel and food to last them a week.
The eye of the storm passed Arecibo on Wednesday afternoon. According to the National Hurricane Center, a weather station near Arecibo recorded wind gusts of 108 mph. All across the island, high winds and torrential rain felled cell towers, ripped roofs from buildings and turned roads into rivers.
Now all of Puerto Rico is without power, and Arecibo, along with the rest of the island, is under a flash flood warning.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Bet that access road is mangled.
I do not know the specific design details of the receiver, but understand that microwave/radar waves are “physically” much longer than light waves. A mirror (reflecting starlight) MUST be perfectly curved and smooth to the sub-micron level. A radar dish - search radar or ground control airport radar - is actually a “weave” of crossing metal bars, sometimes a mesh. You get more detail from a smaller wavelength, but more search capacity from a longer wave. It is very likely the “dish” is actually not really there, but is series of panels of wires or steel bars.
It really is a breathtaking sight-—I came upon it quite
by accident on a hike out of Camp Crozier-—a Peace Corps
training camp in 1963.
I remember reading from long ago that the observatory was constructed in a natural bowl (crater?), with only minor excavation. But as you say, the ground surface is not going to be within 1/10 wavelength or whatever. As far as water accumulation, there must be some kind of natural drainage or the thing would be like Crater Lake.
“ET send aid!”
I find it interesting that they can receive signals from millions of light-years away, but don’t have a shortwave radio or satellite phone to talk to someone in town.
It would be a hoot if we are ever visited and given a tour of the ship and their main means of communicating are CB radios.
10-4 Good buddy.
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