The Arecibo Observatory

St. Lawrence University is a member of the Undergraduate ALFALFA Team, a consortium of 19 institutions engaged in a program sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to promote undergraduate research within the ALFALFA project.

The Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA (ALFALFA) survey is an on-going blind survey of extragalactic neutral hydrogen (HI). The survey uses the largest single dish radio telescope in the world, the 305-meter (1000-ft.) dish at the Arecibo Observatory, in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. When the survey is completed, ALFALFA will have detected more than 25,000 extragalactic HI line sources out to z~0.06.

The NSF funded a 5-year undergraduate workshop, held at the observatory, in which students and their faculty mentors have the opportunity to operate the telescope, and students present the results of their own research. A new grant from the NSF continues the project for a 3-year follow up survey, in which we go back and investigate in further detail interesting objects discovered in the first survey. Students and astronomers from St. Lawrence have attended all the workshops, as well as other observing sessions. Photos from our trips to the observatory are found below.

  • 2014 – 7th ALFALFA Undergraduate Workshop
  • 2013 – Observing run at Arecibo: November 24 - 27
  • 2013 – 6th ALFALFA Undergraduate Workshop
  • 2012 – 5th ALFALFA Undergraduate Workshop
  • 2011 – Remote observing: Controlling the Arecibo telescope from SLU!
  • 2011 – 4th ALFALFA Undergraduate Workshop
  • 2010 – Observing run at Arecibo: November 23 – 26
  • 2010 – 3rd ALFALFA Undergraduate Workshop
  • 2009 – 2nd ALFALFA Undergraduate Workshop
  • 2008 – 1st ALFALFA Undergraduate Workshop
  • 2006 – First St. Lawrence observing run at Arecibo: November 22 – 25