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The collapse of the iconic radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico last month has left astronomers with a host of questions about what went wrong and what comes next.

During a virtual town hall event held at the 237th conference of the American Astronomical Society on Monday (Jan. 11), officials at the National Science Foundation (NSF), which owns the facility, offered the most detailed recounting to date of the events that led to the telescope's uncontrolled collapse on Dec. 1.

The event was the agency's first presentation targeted to researchers since the facility collapsed, and officials emphasized their connection with scientists around the world who had ties to Arecibo. "We at NSF are extremely grateful that the safety zones were adequate and that nobody was physically hurt," Ashley Zauderer, the program director for the Arecibo Observatory at the NSF, said during the presentation.