Budget cuts may ax powerful telescopes

Nov 06, 2006

U.S. federal science officials said budget constraints may force the closure of the Arecibo dish and the Very Long Baseline Array telescope network.

A committee recommended the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va., shut down the Arecibo dish in Puerto Rico and the VLBA network by 2011 if it cannot find organizations willing to share annual operating costs of about $8 million and $11 million, respectively, NewScientist.com said. The closures were part of the committee's recommended $30 million reduction in the foundation's operating budget.

Scientists and researchers who operate both telescope programs said they would work to find others willing to assist financially, NewScientist.com said.

Arecibo is the world's most sensitive radio telescope, NewScientist.com said. The giant antenna is fixed, but the Earth's rotation on its axis and movement of a receiver suspended above the reflective dish allow it to scan about 40 percent of the sky over a year.

The VLBA is a network of 10 radio dishes stretching from Hawaii to the Virgin Islands, offering what scientists said is unmatched resolution at radio wavelengths, NewScientist.com said. The network led to discoveries of cosmic jets and studies of galaxies powered by black holes.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Relief as Russian cargo ship docks at space station

Related Stories

Shyp reclassifies contract couriers as employees

1 hour ago

Shyp, the quickly growing startup that provides on-demand courier services, said Wednesday it would reclassify its contract workers as employees, becoming the latest high-profile tech company to change how it compensates ...

Recommended for you

Crash test assesses plane emergency locator transmitters

Jul 03, 2015

The Cessna 172 airplane dangled 82 feet in the air – looking almost like it was coming in for a landing, except for the cables attaching it to a huge gantry at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, ...

NASA image: Curiosity's stars and stripes

Jul 03, 2015

This view of the American flag medallion on NASA's Mars rover Curiosity was taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 44th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (Sept. 19, 2012). ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.