109.01 Cutting-Edge Science from Arecibo Observatory: Introduction (Joan T. Schmelz)

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Jan 4th at 10:00 AM until 10:15 AM

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Author(s): Joan T. Schmelz1

Institution(s): 1. Arecibo Observatory

The Arecibo Observatory is home to the largest radio telescope in the world operating above 2 GHz, where molecule emission pertaining to the origins of life proliferate. It also houses the most powerful radar system on the planet, providing crucial information for the assessment of impact hazards of near-Earth asteroids (NEA). It was built to study the ionosphere with a radar system that can also monitor the effects of Space Weather and climate change. Arecibo has a proven track record for doing excellent science, even after 50 years of operations. This talk will include brief summaries of several Arecibo astronomy topics including the (1) latest attempts to resolve the Pleiades distance controversy, which include VLBI and Gaia; (2) galactic and extragalactic molecules; and (3) Arecibo 3D orbit determinations of potentially hazardous asteroids, and the crucial observation required to select Bennu as the target for the recently launched NASA OSIRIS-REx mission. This introduction will set the stage for the invited talks in this session, which include such topics as Fast Radio Bursts, galactic and extragalactic HI results, the pulsar emission problem, and NANOGrav. This work is supported by NSF and NASA.