Recent News

What's happening at the AO?


In December, the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics will be awarded to three scientists who were able to first shed light on black holes. One half of the award will be given to Sir Roger Penrose from the University of Oxford, who in 1965, used mathematics and Einstein's general theory of relativity to predict the existence and describe the nature of black holes. + Read More</b>


The University of Central Florida today delivered engineering options to address the Arecibo Observatory to the National Science Foundation. UCF manages the facility under a cooperative agreement with Universidad Ana G. Méndez and Yang Enterprises Inc. for NSF. A main cable failed at AO about 7:30 pm on Nov. 6. Safety remains the team’s primary concern, so a safety zone has been set up around the reflector dish and only personnel needed to respond to the incident are allowed onsite. + Read More

Space & Atmospheric Sciences

Even before the newest AO facility is complete, students and scientists are already hard at work on the relevant science projects. The Culebra Aerosol Research Lidar (CARLA) facility, which began construction in March of 2020, will be used to track aerosols in the atmosphere. Of particular importance is the study of the Saharan dust in the air, which affects air quality and hurricane formation in the Atlantic and Greater Caribbean region. June 2020 saw a uniquely strong dust plume event, causing noticeably dimmer skies as far west as Texas. + Read More