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Division of Astronomical Sciences

National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center  (NAIC)


Name Email Phone Room
Ralph  A. Gaume rgaume@nsf.gov (703) 292-4335  1045S  
Elizabeth  A. Pentecost epenteco@nsf.gov (703) 292-4907  1030S  


National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (NAIC) is a visitor-oriented national research center, supported by NSF and focusing on radio and radar astronomy and atmospheric sciences.   NAIC's headquarters in Ithaca, NY, are operated and managed for NSF by Cornell University. Its principal observing facilities are 19 kilometers south of the city of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. NAIC provides telescope users with a wide range of instrumentation for research and observation. The center has a permanent staff of scientists, engineers, and technicians who are available to help visiting investigators with their observation programs.

NAIC's principal astronomical research instrument is a 305-meter fixed spherical radio/radar telescope, the world's largest single radio wavelength reflector. Its frequency capabilities range from 25 megahertz to 10 gigahertz. Transmitters include an S-band (2,380-megahertz) radar system for planetary studies and a 430-megahertz radar system for aeronomy studies.  NAIC's outreach activities include a popular Visitor's Center with interactive exhibits, the only science-oriented facility of its type in Puerto Rico, and summer workshops for science teachers from across the island.

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National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center


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