Also, there is wildlife (including endangered species) that thrive under the dish, and those need to be considered as well. However, the alternative is to do nothing, and that will almost certainly lead to an uncontrolled collapse of the platform, which would be catastrophic. This aerial view shows the damage at the Arecibo Observatory after one of the main cables holding the reciever broke in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, on December 1, 2020. He last used the telescope on Aug. 6, just days before a socket holding the auxiliary cable that snapped failed in what experts believe could be a manufacturing error. Your opinions are important to us. ARECIBO, Puerto Rico —A huge, already damaged radio telescope in Puerto Rico that has played a key role in astronomical discoveries for more than half a century completely collapsed on Tuesday. Update your browser for more security and the best experience on this site. Then a main cable broke in early November. The NSF therefore decided to decommission the telescope. amanda: the arecibo observatory in puerto rico is the second largest radio telescope in the world, and for 50 years, has discovered new details about our solar system and worlds beyond it. In other words, hopes are that a new telescope will be built to replace it. It would be a shame to let this one slip away forever. The content is provided for information purposes only. It has been used to study Earth's upper atmosphere, mapping near-Earth asteroids and the Moon, observe distant galaxies, and even send signals to a distant star cluster in an attempt to communicate with any potential civilizations there. Strain on a metal plate caused it to buckle, sending a cascade of failures through the structure of the then-decades-old 'scope. Get weekly and/or daily updates delivered to your inbox. Credit: NSF. It had endured hurricanes, tropical humidity and a recent string of earthquakes in its 57 years of operation. You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details to third parties. Can iron form via processes like the r- or s-process? By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. The NSF plans on decommissioning it soon. In personal terms, well, I'm bummed. The U.S. National Science Foundation had earlier announced that it would close the radio telescope. After consideration and an investigation by an engineering team, the NSF concluded that there is no way to fix these problems while still maintaining the safety of any crew who would do the work. The venerable Arecibo radio telescope, a mammoth 305-meter dish nestled in the forested hills of Puerto Rico, is to be decommissioned after a pair of cables that support a huge platform above the dish broke. The platform is truly enormous and heavy, and it will take great care to disassemble it properly and safely. I am not a radio astronomer but many of my friends are and have used Arecibo in the past. Credit: UCF. A huge, already damaged radio telescope in Puerto Rico that has played a key role in astronomical discoveries for more than half a century completely … But also, Arecibo has been around my whole life, and was such a versatile and well-loved instrument. This satellite image provided by 2020 Maxar Technologies shows the damaged radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico on Nov. 17, 2020. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1449240174198-2'); }); The telescope's 900-ton receiver platform and the Gregorian dome—a structure as tall as a four-story building that houses secondary reflectors—fell onto the northern portion of the vast reflector dish more than 400 feet below. Until China built its 500-meter dish in 2016, Arecibo was the largest filled-dish single radio telescope on the planet. This also raises concerns that the remaining 11 cables may be worn more than previously thought. Neither your address nor the recipient's address will be used for any other purpose. Puerto Rico's Areciob Observatory collapsed Tuesday morning after a cable supporting a massive 900-ton platform gave out - officially ending the telescope's 57 years of service. SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A huge, already damaged radio telescope in Puerto Rico that has played a key role in astronomical discoveries for more than half a century completely collapsed on Tuesday. Losing this facility is just awful. The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world, was damaged Monday when an auxiliary cable that supports the suspended platform broke… More than 1,000 earthquakes have shaken Puerto Rico since the beginning of the year. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no No one was hurt, but this incident provoked NSF to inspect the telescope to see what could be done to repair it. I'll note that in 1988, the 100-meter radio telescope in Green Bank West Virginia collapsed. Also, Puerto Rico has been battered by hurricanes which strain the structure, and a series of earthquakes near the observatory struck late in 2019 as well. Credit: UCF. The Mandalorian might be set before the ending of Rebels, Ryan Reynolds has Satan meet the 2020 love of his life in hilarious Match dating ad, From acclaimed horror comic to Netflix anime, 'Trese' is the little Filipino comic that could. "It's a huge loss," said Carmen Pantoja, an astronomer and professor at the University of Puerto Rico who used the telescope for her doctorate. Scientists use satellite data to help response agencies identify damaged areas. The telescope consists of two main structures. NASA scientists are using satellite data to help federal and local agencies identify areas with potential damage. A photo of the 900-ton Arecibo receiver platform at night, showing two of the massive towers and cables used to support the platform. The tops of all three suspension towers were torn off. The desire to study the planet we live on and the Universe around us is one of the noblest aspects of humanity. Comics Wire: Marvel's next X-Men era, and King in Black. Your email address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the email. The collapse at 7:56 a.m. on Tuesday wasn't a surprise because many of the wires in the thick cables holding the structure snapped over the weekend, Ángel Vázquez, the telescope's director of operations, told The Associated Press. "It was a snowball effect," he said. part may be reproduced without the written permission. This satellite image provided by 2020 Maxar Technologies shows the damaged radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2020. We do not guarantee individual replies due to extremely high volume of correspondence. Each tower has four main cables attached to support the platform, so there are 12 in all.
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