Arecibo Observatory Telescope Has Collapsed

Updated: Sep 4

Arecibo Observatory Collapsed
Arecibo Observatory Collapsed

The world-famous Arecibo Telescope has just collapsed on Tuesday07:55 local time (11:55 GMT). It was National Science Foundation (NSF) funded observatory. It suffered damage from tropical storms which would require minor repairs. It leads to the large cable breaks in August and November of this year that set forth the final catastrophic failure. With two of its 18 cables missing, the Arecibo’s structural integrity was greatly compromised and was planned for decommissioning

Before the replacement cables could arrive, the suspended 820-tonne receiver came crashing down from 150 meters above damaging the telescope beyond repair.

The officials announced that the telescope would be dismantled amid safety fears, following damage to its support system happened.

The observatory was a key scientific resource for radio astronomers for 57 years. It was also made famous as the backdrop for a scene in the James Bond film GoldenEye and other Hollywood movies.

Constructed in 1963 in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, the telescope was built on a natural sinkhole using more than 38,778 perforated aluminum panels. For over 50 years, the Arecibo held the record for the largest (305 meters) single-aperture telescope in the world until it was surpassed by China’s FAST telescope in 2016.

Over the years, the main dish appeared as a location in movies, including GoldenEye, Pierce Brosnan's first outing as James Bond in 1995, and the 1997 science fiction drama Contact, starring Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey.

The telescope helped to make the first definitive detection of exoplanets, planetary bodies orbiting other stars, in 1992. It has also been used to listen for signals from intelligent life elsewhere in the cosmos and to track near-Earth asteroids.

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