The big radio telescope at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has come crashing down, ending a long time of extraterrestrial discoveries. The telescope was beforehand broken, and was resulting from shut.
The telescope’s 820-ton instrument platform broke freed from its metal cables and crashed by the 1,000ft (305m) broad dish under on Monday night time, the Nationwide Science Basis (NSF) mentioned in a tweet on Tuesday.
The instrument platform of the 305m telescope at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico fell in a single day. No accidents have been reported. NSF is working with stakeholders to evaluate the scenario. Our high precedence is sustaining security. NSF will launch extra particulars when they’re confirmed. pic.twitter.com/Xjbb9hPUgD
— Nationwide Science Basis (@NSF) December 1, 2020
The observatory had been closed since August, after an auxiliary cable snapped and tore a 100-foot gash within the dish. Following one other cable breakage in early November, the NSF introduced that its engineers have been engaged on decommissioning the enormous telescope.
Previous to its collection of mishaps, funding for the telescope had been steadily lowered over the previous decade, regardless of protest from the scientific neighborhood.
Photographs taken from overhead confirmed the dish laid to waste, and suffering from particles, whereas photographs from floor degree confirmed the telescope’s assist towers nonetheless standing, however now not supporting the large instrument platform.
Dennis Vazquez through Fb: He took these footage of the collapse of the Arecibo Observatory. You’ll be able to see the particles and the stays of the platform and the Gregorian Dome. pic.twitter.com/xneOGSVFYi
— Wilbert Andrés Ruperto (@ruperto1023) December 1, 2020
My complete life I’ve recognized of a magical facility within the Puerto Rican rainforest referred to as Arecibo the place scientists studied the universe and looked for messages. I’m so unhappy it’s gone.Earlier than & after photos from this morning’s tragic collapse of the telescope, taken by @DeborahTiempopic.twitter.com/99ZEwacYyI
— David Grinspoon (@DrFunkySpoon) December 1, 2020
Initially designed to trace Soviet satellites and ballistic missiles within the Nineteen Fifties, the Arecibo facility was ultimately constructed within the early Nineteen Sixties and turned its sights to house as an alternative. Funded by the NSF and NASA, the telescope was on the forefront of astronomical discovery for greater than 5 a long time. It was used to find out the rotation interval of the planet Mercury, to show the existence of neutron stars, take the primary direct picture of an asteroid, and hint mysterious radio bursts from the furthest reaches of outer house.
Knowledge from Arecibo has been used within the seek for extraterrestrial life because the Seventies, and the telescope was utilized in 1974 to shoot the ‘Arecibo message’ 25,000 light-years into house. The message, a sample of ones and zeros, included numbers, stick figures, chemical formulae, and a crude picture of the telescope itself.
The telescope’s big dimension and iconic building noticed it used within the remaining chase scene of the 1995 James Bond movie ‘Goldeneye’.
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