Observatories, Astronomy, & Cosmology (500+)

In the dry mountains of Chile, state-of-the-art optical telescopes with 8-meter lenses are probing the distant reaches of space and capturing fantastic images of stars and galaxies that are changing how scientists think about our universe. 3,494 miles away, in a volcanic crater in Puerto Rico, an 18.5 acre radar dish is sending and receiving waves that U.S. astronomers read to learn about small particles in our solar system. 2,346 miles south of this huge dish, Bororo Indians in Matto Grosso, western Brazil, lie observing the ordered progress of cosmic movements and use this empirically gleaned knowledge to bring better order to their own society. 1,431 miles from there, in the Yucatan Peninsula, the silent remains of long-abandoned Maya observatories continue to bear witness to the precise astronomy practiced in ancient Mesoamerica. All of these very distant and different observatories and observers are focused on the same impossibly vast sky, and each has used the stars to make valuable insights that give structure to their vision of the cosmos.

For well over 1500 years, Latin America has held an important place in astronomy and cosmology, sciences that are quite literally universal, and many of the world's best observatories are and were in Latin America and the Caribbean. Both locals (scientists and curious laypeople alike) and foreign specialists practice stargazing in this region known for its atmospheric and topographic advantages. In the pre-Columbian era, Latin America's observatories and astronomical knowledge surpassed anything in contemporary Europe. The Maya, for one, used specialized observatories like the Caracol (seen in the sources) to create detailed charts of stellar and planetary movements that facilitated a highly detailed dating system.

Europeans, though, were learning to use the stars to cross the open ocean, an experience that drove European astronomy forward at an incredible pace. The needs of precise navigation required better and better instruments (like the astrolabe and backstaff in the sources) that were tested at sea and developed in Iberia's new scientific institutions, like the Casa de Contratacion. More importantly, Europe's improved navigation techniques brought the Old and New Worlds together, a fusion of cultures that, among many other things, forever changed Latin American astronomy.

While the well-trained naked eye can learn much from stargazing, astronomy is a science that progresses with and because of technological changes, and the fusion of ever-improving telescopes and the opportunities to view the southern skies that Latin America affords has consistently yielded impressive results. Modern western observatories were springing up throughout the Americas by the Enlightenment era, including one in Nueva Granada operated by Francisco Jose de Caldas and a temporary observatory in Baja California that, along with 150 others teams around the world, observed the transit of Venus in 1769.

By the late nineteenth century, the U.S. replaced both Europeans and Latin Americans as the primary stargazers of Latin America, setting up observatories in Chile and Peru that greatly expanded collective knowledge of southern skies. U.S. astronomical dominance, though, was closely tied with its neo-imperial attitude towards its southern neighbors. In the years since World War II, this process accelerated even further as highly funded U.S. astronomers brought "big science" to Latin American astronomy, using technologies and resources that local observers could not hope to match. Indeed, according to historian of science W. Patrick McCray, modern telescopes (like the Very Large Telescope in Chile or the huge dish in Puerto Rico) have fundamentally changed what it means to do astronomy. The hours once spent alone at night with a telescope have changed to reading computer-gathered information off of a monitor (McCray 2004).

Chile is the country most often associated with modern astronomy in Latin America, and it is one of the sky-watching centers of the world. Since 1963, it has been home to large U.S. and European observatories, and now proudly hosts both Europe's Very Large Telescope and one of two U.S. Gemini telescopes. Despite its many successes, astronomy in Chile has been fraught with tension. While Chile has enjoyed a good working relationship with the U.S. (due largely to the 10% "glass time" that the U.S. gives Chile on its telescopes), Chileans have resented the imperialist attitudes of European astronomers. Political and terrestrial instability (characterized by Pinochet and earthquakes, respectively) have also problematized the multi-hundred-million dollar facilities in Chile's Atacama Desert. The natural clarity of Chile's vistas and the excellent telescopes have not, however, fostered the kind of national science that many have hoped for in Chile. While natural resources in other Latin American countries (like Argentine fossils) have led to regional scientific specialization, Chilean astronomers remain a rarity.

While vistas in many of the world's observatories are worsening due to air and light pollution, enclaves like the Chilean mountains are becoming increasingly valuable commodities. The natural advantages of such areas will continue to attract advanced technologies from the world's scientific elite and Chile may yet grow further in importance for the international community of astronomers. For Latin American astronomy, the sky is the limit.

Questions for further exploration:

1. Compare the observatories shown in the sources. Although technological differences can be noted, try to focus on the differences in the approach to astronomy and goals of these observatories. What, if any, changes have occurred in the purpose of astronomy in Latin America?

2. How has technology changed cosmology in Latin America? Think about this broadly.

3. How is Chilean astronomy similar and different to scientific specialties of other Latin American countries? You can compare it with one other country or do a broader overview. (Some possibilities are Brazilian nuclear power, Mexican mining, Caribbean agriculture, Peruvian high altitude studies, Argentine paleontology, Brazilian tropical diseases, etc.).

4. Consider one of the astronomic expeditions to Latin America. Some questions to consider include: Was this expedition imperialistic in some way? Or was it perhaps meant to benefit science universally? How did the foreign and local scientists interact?

5. Would astronomy in general be the same without Latin America? Explain your response.

Further Reading:

Appenzeller, Tim. "Astronomers Struggle to Keep Up With Their Opportunities." Science, New Series. 267: 5199 (February 1995): 819-820.

Aveni, Anthony F. Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1980.

Engstrand, Iris Wilson. Royal Officer in Baja California, 1768-1770: Joaquin Velazquez de Leon. Los Angeles: Dawson's Bookshop, 1976.

Fabian, Stephen. Space-Time of the Bororo in Brazil. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1992.

Hammond, Allen L. "Big Astronomy in Chile: The Southern Observatories Come of Age." Science, New Series. 198: 4323: (December 1977): 1235-1239.

"Largest Radio-Radar Telescope Unveiled." The Science News-Letter. 84: 21 (November 1963): 323.

McCray, W. Patrick. Giant Telescopes: Astronomical Ambition and the Promise of Technology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004.

Rasmussen, Wayne. D. "The United States Astronomical Expedition to Chile, 1849-1852." The Hispanic American Historical Review. 34: 1 (February 1954): 103-113.

1769 Transit of Venus

Date: 1769
Owner: Chez Charles-Antoine Jombert
Source Type: Images

 

Baja California, a remote area on the periphery of New Spain, was one of 151 observatories throughout the world (from Siberia to Tahiti) that turned their telescopes towards the sun on June 3, 1769, to watch Venus pass in front of it. A half century earlier, British astronomer Edmund Halley predicted that observing the transit of Venus (an event that happens only twice every 113 years) would facilitate the calculation of the distance from the earth to the sun, a length now known as one Astronomical Unit (AU). Although there was a Venus transit in 1761, many of the observations were flawed and 1769 (the last passage until 1874) was seen as the last opportunity for the generation of Enlightenment astronomers to observe this crucial event. The resources of Europe's largest empires were thus deployed to distant corners of the globe to stargaze from various latitudes and longitudes.

This chart notes the observations of seven disparate observatories, including Captain Cook's in Tahiti, one on the Arctic Ocean, and two in Baja California. The San Joseph observatory was the work of a joint scientific expedition from France and Spain led by the French astronomer Jean Baptiste Chappe D'Auteroche and two Spaniards, Vicente de Doz and Salvador de Medina. (Carlos III sent Doz and Medina to observe both the transit and any suspicious behavior by the French astronomers). The second observatory in California (at Santa Ana) was set up by Joaquin Velazquez de Leon, a Mexican scientist and royal officer who had taught himself the necessary astronomy to make accurate measurements of the transit and owned two adequate telescopes. From his makeshift observatory, Velazquez made the measurements recorded here, that were included in Chappe D'Auteroche's report and then integrated into the calculations used to measure the size of the earth and distance to the sun.

There were, however, great sacrifices made to conduct these observations. The French and Spanish expedition became infected by an epidemic of typhus and 11 of the 17 Frenchmen, including Chappe D'Auteroche, died in California a few months after the transit. 8 of the 11 Spaniards also died of this disease. The transit, though, underscored the necessity of doing astronomy in observatories all over the earth and, combined with the many natural advantages of observing in Latin America, set the stage for many future expeditions and permanent observatories for the scientific benefits of foreign powers.

References: Engstrand, Iris Wilson. Royal Officer in Baja California, 1768-1770: Joaquin Velazquez de Leon. Los Angeles: Dawson's Bookshop, 1976.

Nunis Jr., Doyce B., Ed. The 1769 Transit of Venus: The Baja California Observations of Jean-Baptiste Chappe D'Auteroche, Vicente de Doz, and Joaquin Velazquez Cardenas de Leon. Trans. By James Donahue, Maynard J. Geiger, and Iris Wilson Engstrand. Los Angeles: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 1982.


CITATION: Observatoins de la duree du passage de Venus en 1769. In Chappe D'Auteroche, Jean Baptiste. Voyage en Californie pour l'observation du Paggage de Venus sur le disque du soleil, le 3 Juin 1769. Redige & publie par M. Cassini fils. Paris: Chez Charles-Antoine Jombert, 1772.

DIGITAL ID: 13103

 

Astronomy From Planet Earth

Date: 2007
Owner: ESO
Source Type: Videos

 

The Very Large Telescope (VLT), part of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), is one of the most recent high powered telescopes built in Chile by foreign astronomers. The VLT is actually four different 8.2 meter optical telescopes that work in tandem to collect massive amounts of light (collecting light is the basic goal of optical telescopes), and these telescopes alone can collect more light than every pre-1990 telescope in the world combined. This was a huge shift in perspective; in the 1960s, before Europe and the U.S. built large observatories in Chile, telescopes in the southern hemisphere gathered negligible amounts of light compared to those in the north.

Astronomers are attracted to Chile's Atacama Desert, considered by many to have the best conditions for observing the heavens of anywhere on earth (due to the lack of pollution, high altitude, and arid climate) and the U.S. and Europe both built state-of-the art observatories there. In 1963, the U.S. funded and staffed the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, which was soon followed by the Carnegie Institutes Cerro Las Campanas Observatory and the ESO's observatory at La Silla. The ESO began in 1962 as a conglomerate of 8 northern European nations interested in pooling their astronomic and economic resources in order to compete with U.S. astronomers in the southern hemisphere. Whereas U.S. observatories rented land from Chile, the ESO actually purchased the territory around its observatory at La Silla (this area is the largest diplomatic enclave in the world) and ensured that all of its European staff members enjoyed diplomat status and were exempt from taxation.

Until very recently, there was a significant amount of tension between many Chileans and the ESO's European staff. The ESO refused to recognize Chilean labor unions on its property and Chileans complained that La Silla's scientists had an overtly neo-colonial attitude towards Chile and simply wanted to extract knowledge from it while giving nothing in return. Indeed, while the U.S. owned observatories have given Chilean astronomers 10% of the total "glass time" to conduct research since they commenced operations, the ESO was reluctant to give Chilean's access to their equipment well into the 1990s.

As you are watching this video (which the ESO made in 2007), pay attention to the aspects about the ESO, Chile, and astronomy in general that the video's producers chose to emphasize. Some questions to keep in mind include: how is "big science" being glorified? What is implied about the relationship between Chile and the ESO? How are scientists, technology, and outer space itself depicted?

Reference: McCray, W. Patrick. Giant Telescopes: Astronomical Ambition and the Promise of Technology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004.

Digital ID: 13101

Bororo Astronomy

Date: 1990
Owner: NASA
Source Type: Images

 

Although the Maya of Mesoamerica are the Latin American indigenous group most famous for astronomy, nearly all American Indian groups studied the night skies and attached significance to various stars and their movements. The Bororos, a group of about 1000 Indians living in western Brazil, have remained relatively isolated from the modern world and continue to see the heavens in a culturally distinct manner.

The Bororos attached importance to many of the same stars and constellations that Europeans used, among other things, to navigate their way to the New World. The Pleiades pictured here (which the Bororos call Akiri-doge) are among the most important celestial bodies for the Bororos, who use them to mark the passage of time over both a nightly and yearly period. For example, the Akiri-doge set at dusk in late April, a yearly reminder that the rainy season is ending and it is time for the annual male initiation ceremony, one of the group's most important rituals. Similarly, a night's elapsed time can be measured by noting a star or constellation that rises as the sun sets. The fact that it is midnight when that star reaches its zenith and that sunrise will soon follow its setting is independent of concepts of a round earth spinning in a Copernican solar system-- it is knowledge learned from empirical observations.

Most importantly, the Bororos draw meaningful connections between the ordered motions of the cosmos and the ideal order they hope to achieve in their own society. Experienced social time is not necessarily considered the same thing as space-time, yet the ways in which each star and constellation moves in relation to both the horizon and other stars is considered to be a more perfect kind of order than that on earth. Thus the Bororos strive to recreate these cosmic relationships among the various facets of their society by such methods as rituals, the layout of their villages, and how people and stars are named.

Reference: Fabian, Stephen. Space-Time of the Bororo in Brazil. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1992.
  

CITATION: Pleiades. Courtesy of NASA.

DIGITAL ID: 13107

 

Harvard's Peruvian Observatory

Date: 1897
Owner: Unknown Owner
Source Type: Images

 

In 1849, James M. Gillis led the first U.S. scientific expedition to South America for conducting astronomical observations. Their goal was to make parallax measurements that would help astronomers calculate the distance between the earth and the sun, and they brought a 6.5 inch telescope (the biggest yet made in the Americas) to collect data for their ad hoc observatory. Gillis hoped that the expedition would establish a lasting bond between U.S. and Chilean astronomers and, in fact, it did. The U.S. team worked with three students from the University of Santiago who continued working in their observatory after the U.S astronomers left the country. The U.S. and Chile have continued to work together to watch the southern skies, especially since the construction of the 1963 Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory and, most recently, the construction of the huge Gemini observatory.

The most important long-term U.S. led astronomical observatory in South America prior to Cerro Tololo was led by Harvard University: the Boyden Station at Carmen Alto Observatory, Arequipa, Peru. The observatory, established in 1890, was meant to be a southern counterpart to the state-of-the-art observatory built in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and facilitate a long-term survey of the heavens that collected and processed thousands of glass plate photographs of stellar movements. Despite its isolation, Carmen Alto was well funded and received some of the best astronomical technology then being built, including a 24 inch telescope. The site was eventually abandoned in 1926, when Harvard moved its primary southern observatory to South Africa.

Harvard's southern observatory was only one of many established in South America by the U.S. and several European countries. It is yet another example of how Latin America continues to be exploited as a field where foreigners go to do science. To be sure, astronomy is less destructive or directly exploitative than, for example, sugar plantations or silver mines, but southern skies are nevertheless a valuable resource that the U.S. and Europeans simply cannot access in their home countries. Until science in the southern hemisphere can compete with that of the north, astronomical expeditions to Latin America will remain an integral part of international astronomy.

Reference: Isolabella, Alberto Parodi. Resena historica de los observatorios astronomicos de Monte Harvard, Chosica (1889-1890) y Carmen Alto, Arequipa (1890-1927). Arequipa, Peru: Consejo Nacional de Ciencias y Tecnologia (CONCYTEC), Lima, 1989.


CITATION: Harvard Observatory, Southern Station, Arequipa, Peru. Juan Eduardo Muniz, 1897. In: Isolabella, Alberto Parodi. Resena historica de los observatorios astronomicos de Monte Harvard, Chosica (1889-1890) y Carmen Alto, Arequipa (1890-1927). Arequipa, Peru: Consejo Nacional de Ciencias y Tecnologia (CONCYTEC), Lima, 1989.

DIGITAL ID: 13104

 

Mariners Sighting

Date: 1550
Owner: Granger Collection, The
Source Type: Images

 

Navigating in the open ocean is practically impossible without the use of instruments, making them all important to controlling an overseas empire. Technologies for determining latitude, such as the astrolabe pictured in this sixteenth century drawing, had been used in the Middle East for centuries and were introduced to Iberia through texts and Moorish experts. Yet the rapid expansion of oceanic travel during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries demonstrated the shortcomings of older instruments to Iberian navigators, captains, and pilots. The empirically observed challenges of actually arriving where one hoped to go prompted innovators and institutions to develop more advanced versions of navigational tools. In Spain, the Crown employed a salaried Master of Instruments to fabricate reliable and standardized navigational tools. Standardization allowed instructors at Seville's Casa de Contratacion to teach pilots how to use technology to gather and record measurements, information that would also be standardized (and thus universally applicable) by virtue of the tools.

The navigator pictured on the left is using an astrolabe to determine the ship's latitude, a calculation that relied on accurately measuring the degrees of arc separating the noontime sun from the horizon. The backstaff, as shown on this picture's right, was meant to perform a similar measurement, but was used with one's back to the sun (hence the name backstaff). The backstaff measured the degrees between the horizon and the sun by using the shadow cast onto the long end of the instrument, a method of observing the sun that was far easier on the eyes than attempting to take the measurement by staring directly at the sun, as one was required to do with an astrolabe or quadrant. Such practical inventions were the product of real problems encountered at sea, a clear example of the empirical approach to knowledge and innovation put to use.

CITATION: "Mariners Sighting." 16th C. The Granger Collection, New York. 0010693.

DIGITAL ID: 13017

 

Source References

Web Sites

Planetario de la Universidad de Santiago de Chile (Planetario de la Universidad de Santiago de Chile)

Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO)

La Silla Observatory (La Silla Observatory)

Las Campanas Observatory (Las Campanas Observatory Carnegie Institution of Washington)

SOAR Telescope (Brazilian Ministry of Science, the National Optical Observatories, the University of North Carolina and Michigan State University.)

Arecibo Observatory (National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center)

European Southern Observatory (ESO)

Publications

"Largest Radio-Radar Telescope Unveiled." The Science News-Letter. 84: 21 (November 1963): 323.

Appenzeller, Tim. "Astronomers Struggle to Keep Up With Their Opportunities." Science, New Series. 267: 5199 (February 1995): 819-820.

Engstrand, Iris Wilson. Royal Officer in Baja California, 1768-1770: Joaquin Velazquez de Leon. Los Angeles: Dawson's Bookshop, 1976. 

Fabian, Stephen. Space-Time of the Bororo in Brazil. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1992.

Hammond, Allen L. "Big Astronomy in Chile: The Southern Observatories Come of Age." Science, New Series. 198: 4323 (December 1977): 1235-1239.

Isolabella, Alberto Parodi. Resena historica de los observatorios astronomicos de Monte Harvard, Chosica (1889-1890) y

Carmen Alto, Arequipa (1890-1927). Arequipa, Peru: Consejo Nacional de Ciencias y Tecnologia (CONCYTEC), Lima, 1989.

McCray, W. Patrick. Giant Telescopes: Astronomical Ambition and the Promise of Technology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004.

Nunis Jr., Doyce B., Ed. The 1769 Transit of Venus: The Baja California Observations of Jean-Baptiste Chappe D'Auteroche, Vicente de Doz, and Joaquin Velazquez Cardenas de Leon. Trans. By James Donahue, Maynard J. Geiger, and Iris Wilson Engstrand.

Rasmussen, Wayne. D. "The United States Astronomical Expedition to Chile, 1849-1852." The Hispanic American Historical Review. 34: 1 (February 1954): 103-113.

The "Sombrero" Galaxy

Date: 2007
Owner: ESO
Source Type: Images

 

The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope took this stunning photograph of the so-called Sombrero galaxy (Messier 104), a spiral galaxy in the constellation Virgo. The bulge in the middle of this rotating galaxy is composed mostly of mature stars while the disc is made of various gases, dusts, and stars. The fact that the VLT can take such a detailed image of this 50 million light year away galaxy is a testament to both the advanced technology at the ESO's observatory at La Silla and the clarity of Chilean skies.

Just as South America's natural resources like metals and plants have long been exploited by foreign powers, so too have Chile's skies become a highly valued and sought-after scientific commodity. This may seem strange, as the sky is one of the few natural wonders that all nations share, but the exceptional clarity of Chilean stars and the plethora of advanced telescopes that have been built to observe them have made Chile an international hotspot for advanced astronomy.

Chilean themselves have had mixed success in benefiting from its astronomical advantages. The Universidad de Chile is the country's main native astronomical institution, one that has been able to benefit greatly from the wealth of observation time Chileans are given at U.S. observatories and (only recently) at the ESO. Indeed, the number of Chilean astronomers has not grown much in the last forty years (it has been around thirty since the 1960s), giving each of these scientists far more time on some of the world's best telescopes than more senior astronomers from the U.S. and Europe. Although many scientists have suggested that Chile needs to develop its national astronomic infrastructure to ensure this (very expensive) time is well spent, Chilean astronomers have been able to use their time to conduct studies that require longer hours of observation than many astronomers can afford to use. For example, Maria-Teresa Ruiz surveyed the skies and found several cool dwarfs, stars that emit little light and thus it takes many hours to find them.

Photographs like this are dramatic examples that demonstrate how new astronomical technology, especially optical telescopes, can literally change how we see the universe. More so than most other sciences, new technology drives the advancement of astronomy and facilitates the discovery of things that people could not possibly know without their help. As stargazing technologies get better and better and we find more amazing heavenly bodies in the distant reaches of space, few can help being struck by the sheer wonder of the universe. The fact that this galaxy is only one of about 130 billion in the universe, and each of these galaxies has about 400 billion stars (making an estimated 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars in the universe) makes it clear that we still know almost nothing about the cosmos. Just like the VLT's photographs, modern cosmology remains largely a shot in the dark, and astronomers are just as fascinated by its mysteries as the Maya or Bororo Indians.

References: Appenzeller, Tim. "Astronomers Struggle to Keep Up With Their Opportunities." In Science, New Series, Vol. 267, No. 5199, (Feb. 10, 1995), pp. 819-820.

Hammond, Allen L. "Big Astronomy in Chile: The Southern Observatories Come of Age." In Science, New Series, Vol. 198, No. 4323, (Dec. 23, 1977), pp. 1235-1239.

McCray, W. Patrick. Giant Telescopes: Astronomical Ambition and the Promise of Technology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004.


CITATION: Messier 104, M 104, The Sombrero Galaxy. Id: phot-07a-00. Courtesy of ESO.

DIGITAL ID: 13102

 

The Caracol, Chichen Itza

Date: 800
Owner: iStock Photo
Source Type: Buildings

 

CITATION: Equinox Tower. iStock Photography, #1285643.

DIGITAL ID: 12787

 

World's Largest Radio Telescope

Date: 1963
Owner: National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center
Source Type: Images

 

This radio telescope near Arecibo, Puerto Rico, is the largest telescope in the world. Radio telescopes work best in isolated valleys where there are few extraneous waves to interfere with the data they collect. This dish, measuring 450 feet from top to bottom and covering 18.5 acres of land, is built inside the mouth of a dead volcano. It has undergone two significant technological updates (in 1973 and 1997) and is currently the world's most powerful dish. Since the 1997 modifications, the dish has been used to study galactic gasses, asteroids, and space dust like that found in Saturn's rings.

The Arecibo dish, completed in 1963, is a prime example of the big science that came to dominate astronomy in the decades after World War II. To design the necessary technologies and fund the $9 million dish, the project was a massive collaboration amongst some of the largest and most well funded scientific and government institutions in the U.S., including the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Defense Department, Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories, Cornell University, and the Army Corps of Engineers. The astronomy practiced at this facility was a far cry from that of the early twentieth century, an era when individual observers staring into optical telescopes still made most discoveries in the heavens. Arecibo and other modern telescopes required computers and other equipment (designed by specialists and not the astronomers themselves) that created a much larger distance between space and scientist.

This dish also draws attention to the colonial relationship between the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Much like the Spanish transformed the Caribbean's landscape (and society) by converting it into space for plantation agriculture, the U.S. dish also changed Puerto Rico's land to further its own imperial goals. Of course, a radio telescope to study the ionosphere (the dish's original purpose) is hardly as exploitative as slave-grown sugar, but the process of imposing foreign science onto the landscape of a lesser power is just the same.

Reference: "Largest Radio-Radar Telescope Unveiled." In The Science News-Letter, vol. 84, no. 21 (Nov. 23, 1963), pp. 323.


CITATION: View of Arecibo Observatory. Image courtesy of the NAIC — Arecibo Observatory, a facility of the NSF.

DIGITAL ID: 12788