Puerto Rico's Arecibo Observatory is falling apart, leaving astronomers worried about their research
Last week, one of the telescope’s main steel cables that was capable of sustaining 544,000 kilograms snapped under only 283,000 kilograms.
Firstpost •Nov 17, 2020 09:56 IST
The giant, aging cables that support one of the world’s largest single-dish radio telescopes are slowly unravelling in this US territory, pushing an observatory renowned for its key role in astronomical discoveries to the brink of collapse.
The Arecibo Observatory, which is tethered above a sinkhole in Puerto Rico’s lush mountain region, boasts a 1,000-foot-wide (305-meter-wide) dish featured in the Jodie Foster film “Contact” and the James Bond movie “GoldenEye.” The dish and a dome suspended above it have been used to track asteroids headed toward Earth, conduct research that led to a Nobel Prize and helped scientists trying to determine if a planet is habitable