Connecting with Cornell volume 17, issue 2 (Winter 2004): Entrusted with a National Treasure of Transnational Significance, Cornell Orchestrates Celestially at the Arecibo Observatory
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The Arecibo telescope is made up of a mosaic of nearly 40,000 aluminum panels with an overall bowl shape that is 305 meters (1,000 feet) in diameter. Imagine that the shape of the aluminum bowl is aligned in such a way that all the panels, of which it is made, keep it precisely spherical in shape to within about 1.5 millimeters (about the width of the lead in a pencil). This is the mechanical engineering achievement that the telescope represents.
Cornell University Office of the Vice Provost for Research
Research Journal; Arecibo Observatory