This is a sad day for the world of astronomy. The Arecibo Laboratory An epic telescope says goodbye to Puerto Rico where the dish resides. The laboratory underwent rigorous construction Damage when a cable failed in August, And the situation has worsened.
The The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced on Thursday It will begin plans to reduce the telescope to 305 meters (1,000-feet) and complete 57 years of service of the device.
“This decision comes after the NSF evaluated a number of independent engineering companies that found the telescope system at risk of a catastrophic failure, and its cables would no longer be capable of carrying loads designed to support them,” the NSF said in a statement.
A The second cable failed In early November. It was a core cable and it broke and fell on the reflective dish, damaging the nearby dish and other cables. The cables are designed to support a base of 900 tons, which hangs 450 feet above the dish.
“Each of the remaining cables in the structure now supports more weight than before, which increases the chance of another cable malfunctioning, which can lead to the collapse of the entire structure.” The University of Central Florida said in a statement On November 13th. UCF manages the facility of the National Science Foundation.
The Watchtower was the setting for a dramatic fight scene in the 1995 James Bond film பொன்விழி With Pierce Brosnan. It also appeared in the 1997 film Jodi Foster Get in touch. But there is a real legacy of Arecibo Many scientific discoveries It is possible. It explored pulsars, expanded our knowledge of Mercury, discovered exoplanets, and detected rapid radio explosions.
Analysts took to Twitter to mourn. “It’s a big science gut punch. The end of an era,” Planetary scientist Tanya Harrison said.
Field geophysicist Mika McKinnon tweeted, “I’m going to miss Arecibo. Even if you do not pay much attention to ground – based astronomy, you will know this telescope from pop culture and movies.
The NSF removal program will focus on the telescope while trying to protect the surrounding surveillance structures. “Once all the necessary arrangements have been made, the telescope will be subjected to controlled extraction,” the foundation said.