“The most obvious thing to say about the telescope is that it’s enormous. Even when you’re standing right next to it, or on it, the size of the telescope is hard to comprehend.”
Puerto Rico’s Aricebo Observatory celebrates its 50th anniversary of listening to the skies this year. It’s the largest radio telescope in the world, built into a natural sinkhole in the tropics, providing a prime view of our own solar system and those beyond, as well as some breathtaking views of the island itself.
Nadia Drake has a wonderful tribute to Aricebo at Wired, full of crazy history, stunning photos, and some quality time with her dad (who is kind of a big deal). Give it a read.
In the era of exoplanets, and as we zero in on good spots to listen in on for possible signs of intelligence, it’s important to remember how crucial places like Aricebo were, and continue to be to astronomy. If we can build that, imagine what else we can do!
Previously: An awesome interactive look at the Kepler telescope’s exoplanet tally, and a comic illustration of the same data.
I love my Halloween icon too much. I don’t want to give it up.
We are throwing a Halloween party at our house! It’s going to be the greatest thing ever!
And the Academy Award for Best Joke goes to Amy Poehler.