The Arecibo Observatory is a radio telescope in the municipality of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. As of 2018, the observatory is operated by University of Central Florida, Yang Enterprises and UMET, under cooperative agreement with the US National Science Foundation. The observatory is the sole facility of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, which is the formal name of the observatory. From its construction in the 1960s until 2011, the observatory was managed by Cornell University.
For more than 50 years, from its completion in 1963 until July 2016 when the Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope in China was completed, the Arecibo Observatory's 1,000-foot radio telescope was the world's largest single-aperture telescope. It is used in three major areas of research: radio astronomy, atmospheric science, and radar astronomy. Scientists who want to use the observatory submit proposals that are evaluated by an independent scientific board.