Puerto Rican Observatory at Risk of Extensive Damage after Cable Failures
The cables that support the 900-ton platform at the Arecibo Observatory are failing one by one, and scientists are fearing a catastrophe. Read on.
Back in August 2020, a broken cable snapped and tore open a 100-foot hole in Arecibo Observatory's gargantuan dish. Following the accident, another main cable snapped on November 6, leaving the 900-ton platform located directly above the dish now only supported by the remaining cables which are already fraying, according to the report by the University of Central Florida (UCF).
The last week's accident came as a surprise since, after the accident in August, officials had inspected the structure and decided it could handle the shift in weight, reports the AP. The steel cable, which was originally capable of sustaining 1.2 million pounds (544,000 kilograms), snapped under only 624,000 pounds (283,000 kilograms).
These accidents spell danger for the renowned telescope that has facilitated scientists in their search for aliens and asteroids since its construction in 1960.