Recent News

What's happening at the AO?

Some ISR facilities observe day time plasma lines (produced by suprathermal electrons energized by the sun). Vierinen et al. [2017] implemented some techniques, using the high sensitivity of the Arecibo ISR system, to observe the night time plasma line. The nighttime plasma line is produced by suprathermal electrons energized by sources different than the sun. No other radar has the sensitivity to implement this technique.

Radio-frequency (RF) auroras, like the beautiful example shown in Figure 1 and the movie (link here), are often dancing across the night skies of Puerto Rico. Unlike their high-latitude cousins, however, these tropical phantasms do not generate optical emission and are not associated with solar activity. These are mid-latitude RF echoes observed with coherent radar and displaying radio signatures similar to those detected from the northern lights. Read More

Remarkable new observations derived by linking Arecibo Observatory’s 305-meter dish with the Russian RadioAstron Space Radio Telescope have provided results that are causing much head scratching in radio astronomical circles. What used to be a well-understood explanation of the mechanism that generates intense radio signals from tiny and very distant quasar nuclei has now been tested in previously impossible ways. Read More

A new discovery has upended the widely held view that all pulsars are orderly ticking clocks of the universe. A survey done at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has fortuitously discovered two extremely strange pulsars that undergo a “cosmic vanishing act.” Sometimes they are there, and then for very long periods of time, they are not. Read More