WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by
Are We There Yet? Podcast

Arecibo’s Legacy

Operations at the UCF-managed Arecibo Observatory (pictured here in the spring of 2019) are stopped until repairs can be made from an incident in August that caused a 100-foot-long gash on the telescope’s reflector dish. Photo: UCF

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

For nearly six decades, a 1,000 foot dish in a Puerto Rican forest has led the charge in searching for far away planets, alien life and tracking near-Earth asteroids. It’s also had cameos in television and film including the 1995 James Bond movie Goldeneye. Now, that dish is going dark.

The National Science Foundation said it is shutting down the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico due to safety concerns. The move comes after two incidents this year damaged the 57-year-old radio observatory.

So what does this mean for radio astronomy? First, we’ll talk with Arecibo Directory Francisco Cordova about the move to decommission the radio telescope and what work still lies ahead for Arecibo.

Then, we’ll talk with planetary scientists Paul Byrne about Arecibo’s lasting legacy and what facilities are currently available to help fill the void left by the end of this massive radio dish.

Exploring Arecibo’s impact — that’s ahead on Are We There Yet? here on America’s Space Station.


Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida COVID-19 news, updates on special programs and more. Support our extended coverage.

GET THE LATEST

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. He also helps produce WMFE's public affairs show "Intersection," working with host ... Read Full Bio »

TOP