Monday, July 21, 2008

Save Arecibo

From an 18 July 2008 email from Seti@home:

Arecibo Observatory, the world's largest radio telescope and the source for the SETI@home data that your computer analyzes, faces massive budget cuts that will END its ability to continue the search for life beyond Earth. The decision to ensure full funding currently rests upon votes in Congress on Senate Bill S. 2862 and House Resolution H.R. 3737. These bills desperately need more support.

Please take a moment to help us SAVE ARECIBO.

Clicking the link below will direct you to a web page that allows you to print out letters prepared for your Senators and Congressional Representative urging them to support Arecibo. Printing and mailing the letters is really easy, too! You will also have the chance to add a few personal thoughts, if you wish, to let your Senators and Representative know why this funding is important to you! And if you're really feeling passionate about saving Arecibo, please use these
letters as the basis for letters you write yourself, urging your congressmen and women to vote to save Arecibo.

Because our representatives in Congress rarely give much attention to all the email they receive, printing out and MAILING these letters via standard U.S. Postal mail remains our best option for contacting them and our best hope for saving Arecibo (The second best option is to call your representatives). Your 42 cent stamps on these letters could help us get the millions of dollars
needed to save Arecibo.

Our search cannot continue without the necessary support. Your work, as SETI@home participants, represents an indispensable resource for conducting the search. Now, we need your help to ensure that our other most valuable resource - our eyes and ears to the cosmos - can continue to probe the universe as we seek to answer the question: Is there anybody out there?

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/arecibo_letter.php

Thank you for your help,

The SETI@home Team

Related information:
  • As the largest radio telescope in the world, the Arecibo Observatory is an important asset to America's scientific and technological communities. No other radio telescope comes close to the sensitivity that the Arecibo telescope has.
  • Not until the year 2020 will any other telescope even have a chance to surpass Arecibo. If the Square Kilometer Array (to be located in South Africa or Australia) gets all of its funding on time, a decade-long gap without the use of Arecibo (or any comparable telescope) will still plague astronomic, planetary, and atmospheric research.
  • Only Arecibo's planetary radar can image and determine exact trajectories of potentially threatening asteroids. This makes Arecibo the best tool for investigating Near Earth Objects and warning the world about possible asteroid threats.
  • Radio technologies developed for the Arecibo telescope strengthen the U.S. competitive edge in the global marketplace. Ionospheric radio wave propagation studies conducted at Arecibo form an important component of space technologies, from communications satellites to the Global Positioning System (GPS).
  • Arecibo benefits education. Many of our next generation of scientists and engineers receive training at the Arecibo Observatory.
  • Arecibo captures the public imagination. Over 120,000 people per year visit this technical wonder while millions more contribute to scientific projects conducted with this telescope. Over 5 million participants have contributed to SETI@home -- the world's largest public participation science project.
  • The citizens of the United States, especially those in Puerto Rico, and the scientific community look at Arecibo with pride. The Observatory represents a commitment to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and a major asset to the world scientific community.

Reference:

"Save Arecibo: Write to Congress." Press Release. UC Berkley News. 3 July 2008. 21 July 2008. <http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/arecibo_letter.php>

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