Space & Atmospheric Sciences

Even before the newest AO facility is complete, students and scientists are already hard at work on the relevant science projects. The Culebra Aerosol Research Lidar (CARLA) facility, which began construction in March of 2020, will be used to track aerosols in the atmosphere. Of particular importance is the study of the Saharan dust in the air, which affects air quality and hurricane formation in the Atlantic and Greater Caribbean region. June 2020 saw a uniquely strong dust plume event, causing noticeably dimmer skies as far west as Texas. + Read More

Space & Atmospheric

A unique, high-altitude plasma cavity formed over Arecibo during an ionospheric heating campaign conducted at the observatory in June of 2019. Simultaneously, the Arecibo Incoherent Scatter Radar (ISR) collected measurements of the narrow cavity, revealing an exceptionally deep depletion of the electron density and a strong enhancement of the electron and ion temperatures. Read More


New results from the AO Remote Optical Facility (ROF) have shown that certain wavelike perturbations in the Earth’s ionosphere are highly dependent on season in a variety of ways. For the first time, these perturbations – known as Medium Scale Traveling Ionospheric Disturbances (MSTIDs) - were conclusively shown to be modulated by the geomagnetic and solar activities.

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