A few days ago it was announced that the Arecibo observatory will be closed. For the world astronomical community, this news is undoubtedly a blow, Well, there is the second largest radio telescope in the world, which is about to be demolished.
The observatory has been called a marvel of science.
For 57 years, the observatory has helped many people to expand their knowledge of the cosmos, but now it will end its cycle for safety reasons, this because, in addition to the fact that two very important cables for its operation have presented failures, the structure main is deteriorating, but repairing it would be extremely dangerous. Ralph Gaume, director of the Division of Astronomical Sciences of the National Science Foundation (NSF), commented the following in this regard (via):
“When we did the evaluations, our question was not whether the observatory should be repaired, but how [debíamos repararlo]. But, in the end, after pre-weighting the data, we found that we simply couldn’t do this safely. And that is a line that we cannot cross ”.
And the fact is that the telescope has a structure that weighs 900 tons and is in “catastrophic risk”, meaning that if you try to correct this in any way while workers or scientists are present, you could have died, and this is something that the NSF cannot afford. If there were any other alternative, the 304-meter-long device would not have to be demolished, but there is not much that can be done.
The Arrecibo Observatory, in Puerto Rico.
According to the agency, they will try to maintain as much of the construction as possible, but cannot guarantee that they will be exempt from instability problems in the future. It is a shame to know that the Arecibo observatory will remain closed, as its contributions to the study of the cosmos have been extremely significant.
arecibo astronomy observatory telescope
José Roberto Landaverde Cinephile and music lover. I love writing, listening, reading and commenting on everything related to the seventh art. I think Fleetwood Mac is underrated. I’m a Rocky and Back to the Future fan and obviously one day I’ll go up the “Philly Steps” and drive a DeLorean. Faithful believer that the cinema is the best teleportation machine, and also that on the big screen we can all see ourselves represented.