The Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico is the most sensitive and gigantic radio telescope in the world, used to do radar studies on objects in our local solar system. Despite its long history of excellent operation - it was built in the early 1960s - the National Science Foundation is threatening to cut its funding down to almost nothing by 2011. Nevertheless, the massive radio apparatus just got a fresh coat of paint, as you can see in the picture, and the Arecibo Observatory is scrambling for fresh funding sources. See the telescope in its glory days in 1962 below the fold.

This is the enormous radio dish seen from above in 1962. The guy painting you see above is standing over the dish on a catwalk.

Top image via AP. Bottom image courtesy of the NAIC - Arecibo Observatory, a facility (at least for now) of the NSF.

Arecibo Back in Operation [NYT]