RIP Arecibo Observatory’s alien hunting telescope

arecibo telescope decommission and collapse
Picture: University of Central Florida

The 305-metre-wide radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico is permanently closing.

The Arecibo telescope was built in 1963 and was the world’s largest radio telescope for decades.

It is from there that astronomers sent an interstellar radio message in 1974 and where the first known extrasolar planet was discovered in 1992.

The telescope did pioneering work in detecting near-Earth asteroids, observing the puzzling celestial blasts known as fast radio bursts, and studying many other phenomena.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) will decommission Arecibo Observatory’s massive radio dish after damage has made the facility too dangerous to repair.

NSF explains: “We believe the structure will collapse in the near future if left untouched,” John Abruzzo, managing principal of Thornton Tomasetti, wrote. “Controlled demolition, designed with a specific collapse sequence determined and implemented with the use of explosives, will reduce the uncertainty and danger associated with collapse.

More space news on Nature, Strange Sounds and Steve Quayle.

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  1. US Air Force’s F-16 Fighter Jets Go ‘Completely Pilotless’ – Watch The Cockpit View
    For almost over a half a decade, the United States and a host of allied nations have been able to count upon the services of the highly maneuverable F-16 Fighting Falcon in providing high performance and mission versatility in air-to-air and air-to-surface missions. AI control wolrd, ET brought us all high tech!
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  2. National shame
    Now only China will have a single dish large telescope.
    Where are the patriots to support a refit.
    Telescope time is so limited that teams often wait years to get a slot.
    These assets are not trivial and should be preserved.

  3. Almost as old as me.
    Wow, I can remember seeing that in Life Magazine as a kid. Or maybe it was these Time Life books. We didn’t have color tv back then. Rotary dial phones, smoking in elevators, ok. Lol.

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