Legendary Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico to Be Demolished
The National Science Foundation, which oversees Arecibo, has decided the facility cannot be repaired without risking human life. Read the details inside.
Science & Tech
It's a sad day for the lovers of astronomy and scientists who have relied on the world-famous Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. The observatory, which has helped researchers search for deep-space objects and events like pulsars and bursts of distant radio waves, is set to be decommissioned and demolished after engineers concluded that the facility's structure is in danger of a catastrophic failure following two fatal mishaps in recent months.
The National Science Foundation (NSF), which oversees Arecibo, has decided the facility cannot be repaired without risking human life, bringing an end to its 57 years of astronomical discoveries.
The tough decision came after the two major cables failed and caused significant damage to the observatory. Engineers of the University of Central Florida (UCF) were assessing the situation; however, the alarm bells were ringing since the other cables showed signs of degradation, fueling the worries that the platform could fall and crash through the dish below, National Geographicreports.