Sunday, January 3, 2021

Arecibo Observatory In Puerto Rico To Close


The Arecibo Observatory, the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, will be permanently closing.  The Arecibo Observatory is located in Arecibo, in northern Puerto Rico.  The National Science Foundation decommissioned the telescope after two support cables broke, causing major damage to the telescope.  Plan is to demolish the telescope which is at the verge of collapse.  

The Arecibo Observatory was built in 1963,  it is 305 meters wide, and a powerful planetary radar.  The telescope has pioneered work with asteroids in close proximity to earth, and in astronomy.  In 1974 astronomers used the telescope to send an interstellar radio message, in case any extraterrestrial life could hear it, and in 1992, the Arecibo Observatory, discovered the first known extrasolar planet.  The closure comes as a surprise to astronomers and the community.

The Arecibo Observatory is a major science-educational center for Puerto Rico, creating careers for astronomers and engineers.  Also, the iconic telescope, has been featured in major movies such as Contact, with actress Jodie Foster, and the James Bond film GoldenEye.   


The Arecibo Telescope ended up collapsing, and it was caught on video:



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