The world famous Arecibo observatory has collapsed. The National Science Foundation (NSF), which oversees the telescope, announced the unfortunate turn of events on Tuesday. At some point during the night, the Arecibo receiver platform crashed against the legendary 1. 000 feet wide antenna. « The platform fell unexpectedly, » a spokesman for the NSF told the New York Times. The foundation didn’t say what caused the collapse, what it promised once it got more information. However, no one was injured on the construction site.
The instrument platform of the 305 m long telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico fell overnight. No injuries were reported. NSF is working with stakeholders to assess the situation. Our number one priority is maintaining security. NSF will release further details as soon as these are confirmed. image. Twitter. com / Xjbb9hPUgD
« NSF is sad about this development. As we move forward, we will look for ways to support the scientific community and maintain our close relationship with the people of Puerto Rico, ”the agency said on Twitter.
The collapse of the receiver platform adds another sad chapter to Arecibo’s end. After two cable failures in summer, on 19. Nov. 11, the NSF said it had no choice but to decommission and dismantle the observatory because of the risk of repairing the structure.
« The decision was made after NSF evaluated several reviews by independent engineering firms that found the telescopic structure was at risk of catastrophic failure and the cables may no longer be able to carry the loads they were designed to carry » said the agency at the time.
What I will miss most is the joy we found at the observatory. The joy of sharing astronomical discoveries with people from all walks of life, which at Arecibo we could only do because it was where it was. That’s why I decided to become an astronomer. #WhatAreciboMeansToMe image. Twitter. com / iiylRxLy8p
When demolishing Arecibo, NSF said it would try to save as many surrounding structures and facilities as possible while preserving the site as a place of education and learning. It’s not clear how this latest development will affect these plans.
As you can imagine, scientists and Puerto Ricans have taken to Twitter to mourn Arecibo’s end. For almost six decades, the observatory was a beacon of human knowledge that aided astronomers in their search for extraterrestrial life and furthered our understanding of the cosmos. The facility also made its way into the popular imagination with appearances in films like GoldenEye. At least everyone knows what Arecibo looks like, even if they have never been to Puerto Rico.
Arecibo Observatory, Telescope, Radio Telescope, Puerto Rico, Observatory
World News – USA – The Arecibo Observatory telescope has collapsed
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