On our recent visit to Puerto Rico, we took an unplanned side trip to what might be called ET’s phone booth—a vast radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory that “listens” to space both for astronomical information and any...
Enjoyed your account, thanks for that. I've known about the Observatory for a long time but one thing that baffled me a bit was the apparent grubbiness of the dish? It looks like algal or mossy growth on the tiles from photos I've seen or is it just staining caused by rain? I sort of expected they'd have to keep it gleaming? )
Maintenance is always an issue on outdoor equipment (hence the special shoes worn by those who go out to adjust and clean the bowl) but shiny is not actually needed for radio (as opposed to optical) telescopes. Not really sure for optical either, but this is an antenna for radio emissions, not for reflecting light.
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