Powerful eye

Published: Tuesday 30 September 1997

Arecibo, the world's most powerful radar and radio telescope, has been upgraded with new instruments. It has a 305-metre dish that is placed in the crater of an extinct volcano in Puerto Rico. Arecibo has been fitted with a dual-mirror system to collect and focus signals that come from the dish. With this, the sensitivity of the telescope has increased three times than before. A million-watt radar transmitter has also been fitted with Arecibo, making it twice as powerful as the previous one. Astronomers can now bounce radio waves back from planets and asteroids using the radar, enabling them to examine the planets closely ( Science , Vol 276, No 5320).

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