Announcement: Green Bank Observatory’s Response to the Decommissioning of the Arecibo Telescope

The Arecibo Telescope, image credit University of Central Florida

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the Green Bank Observatory (GBO) are saddened by the announcement of the decommissioning of the Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico due to recent and devastating structural damage. See the National Science Foundation’s full release here.

The 305-meter Arecibo radio telescope has a long and distinguished history of landmark contributions to astronomy and planetary science and often has been a valued partner with NRAO telescopes and the Green Bank Telescope in research projects. Its loss will be a blow to science.

The staff and facilities of NRAO and GBO stand ready to assist in filling the gap that this loss will create, and offer our best wishes to our colleagues who are affected by this development.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can any NRAO facilities or the Green Bank Telescope replace the Arecibo Telescope?

  • While some instruments of the NRAO and GBO can perform some of the Arecibo Telescope’s functions, none will be a total replacement for its capabilities. The Arecibo Telescope is irreplaceable.

Does the NRAO or GBO support the NSF’s move to decommission the telescope?

  • We defer to the engineers’ reports evaluating the devastating damage done to the telescope’s infrastructure and threats to staff safety, as shared in the NSF’s release

Will the NRAO or GBO be providing support to the staff displaced by this event?

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Press contacts:

Dave Finley, NRAO dfinley@nrao.edu

Jill Malusky, GBO jmalusky@nrao.edu