Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico collapsed 1st Dec exactly one month after its 57th birthday. The whole collapse of the observatory was captured in spectacular drone footage.
The telescope, which became operational in 1963 and until 2016 was the world’s largest spherical reflector dish, was for decades a crucial tool in the advancement of astronomy. While used primarily for research in atmospheric science and both radio and radar astronomy, it was perhaps best known as a key NASA tool for monitoring near earth asteroids, and as part of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
The decommissioning was supposed to proceed after NSF determined the safest possible method but physics had other plans.