The Arecibo & Green Bank Observatories

Aileen O'Donoghue, Evan Smith '16, Jeffrey Miller

St. Lawrence University is a member of the Undergraduate ALFALFA Team (UAT), a consortium of 24 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 was an on-going blind survey of extragalactic neutral hydrogen (HI). The survey used 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 was completed, ALFALFA 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. The current grant covers workshops held at the Green Bank Observatory in West Virginia, where the 100-meter Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope is used to observe objects too far north to be seen from Arecibo. Students and astronomers from St. Lawrence have attended all the workshops, as well as other observing sessions. Photos from our workshops and separate observing runs are found below.

Undergraduate ALFALFA Team Workshops:

  • 2019 – 12th UAT Workshop
  • 2018 – 11th UAT Workshop
  • 2017 – 10th UAT Workshop
  • 2016 – 9th UAT Workshop, now at the Green Bank Observatory
  • 2015 – 8th UAT Workshop
  • 2014 – 7th UAT Workshop
  • 2013 – 6th UAT Workshop
  • 2012 – 5th UAT Workshop
  • 2011 – 4th UAT Workshop
  • 2010 – 3rd UAT Workshop
  • 2009 – 2nd UAT Workshop
  • 2008 – 1st UAT Workshop at the Arecibo Observatory

Observing Runs:

  • 2019 - Observing run at Arecibo: November 24 - 28
  • 2015 – Observing run at Arecibo: November 23 - 26
  • 2013 – Observing run at Arecibo: November 24 - 27
  • 2011 – Remote observing: Controlling the Arecibo telescope from SLU!
  • 2010 – Observing run at Arecibo: November 23 – 26
  • 2006 – First St. Lawrence observing run at Arecibo: November 22 – 25