Nate Calabro ‘08 Presents at Arecibo Observatory Workshop

Prof. Becky Koopmann and Nate Calabro ‘08 at the Areicbo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

Nathan Calabro ’08 presented results of his senior thesis project at the first ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA) Undergraduate Team Workshop at Arecibo Observatory in January.The observatory, located in Puerto Rico, is home to the 305-m diameter Arecibo telescope, the largest telescope in the world. Calabro’s project is contributing to the development of an interactive exhibit showcasing ALFALFA results, to be displayed at the observatory’s Angel Ramos Foundation Visitor Center.Astronomers around the world are collaborating on the ALFALFA project, led by astronomers Riccardo Giovanelli and Martha Haynes of Cornell University.The project is mapping a large area of the sky at radio wavelengths appropriate for the detection of neutral hydrogen gas in other galaxies and is expected to detect more than 30,000 galaxies out to a distance of 750 million light years.“Calabro’s exhibit will allow visitors to explore the properties of galaxies and compare observations made at radio wavelengths at Arecibo to optical and other wavelength observations made at other observatories,” said Rebecca Koopmann, associate professor of Physics and Astronomy.The Undergraduate ALFALFA Team workshop, made possible by a National Science Foundation grant to Union, was organized by Koopmann and collaborators.“The workshop highlight was an ALFALFA observing run in which each student had the chance to control the telescope to make ALFALFA observations,” Koopmann said. Students also had the opportunity to tour the facility, including the 450-foot high platform above the reflecting surface.
See the story in the Union College Chronicle.