News of the WeekU.S. ASTRONOMY

Arecibo to Stay Open Under New NSF Funding Plan

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Science  18 Jun 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5985, pp. 1462-1463
DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5985.1462-b

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Three years ago, an expert panel recommended that the chief supporter of the Arecibo Observatory, the National Science Foundation (NSF), cut the telescope's funding sharply to make room for new astronomy projects. That step, the panel warned, could mean closing the facility in 2011 if it couldn't find other backers. Now, after much hand-wringing, NSF has decided to keep the observatory going until at least 2016 with help from the foundation's geosciences directorate and from NASA. The new funding partners will lead to more atmospheric science and asteroid tracking for the radio telescope—and a new lease on life.