Sci-tech

Iconic Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico will be decommissioned

Iconic Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico will be decommissioned”

Those are used for upper atmospheric and ionospheric research, including analyzing cloud cover and precipitation data. Giant, aging cables that support the radio telescopes are slowly unraveling in this US territory, threatening scientific projects that researchers say can't be done elsewhere on the planet. After going over three separate engineering reports, the NSF, which owns the property, has decided the facility is unstable enough that there is no way to fix the damage that does not put personnel at undue risk, according to Space.com.

An update was provided on october 12 with no culprit of what caused the auxiliary cable to fail - UCF outlined what had been done to date to fix the cable which included a complete safety assessment, shipping the socket involved in the failure to NASA Kennedy Space Center for further evaluation, and completing a review for a possible fix plan. The iconic dish has served as a backdrop for several science fiction movies. The 57-year-old observatory, a survivor of numerous hurricanes and earthquakes, is now in such a fragile state that attempting repairs would put staff and workers in danger.

"I was hoping against hope that they would come up with some kind of solution to keep it open", he said.

Operations at the observatory were halted in August when one of its supportive cables slipped loose from its socket, falling and creating a 30-metre hole in its 305-metre-wide reflector dish.

The Arecibo Observatory reflector dish is damaged by a broken cable.

A second, main cable that supports the observatory broke on November 6, causing additional damage to the dish and other nearby cables.

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The decommissioning of the massive radio telescope comes after a review of engineering assessments called its structural integrity into question, a Thursday news release states. However, demolition will be done in a controlled way.

The independent, federal-funded company said operating a single-dish radio telescope was too risky - and one of the largest in the world - that it had suffered significant damage recently.

Experts are however trying to preserve The Other instruments at the site so that they could be used for similar installations in future.

The telescope was built in the 1960s with money from the Defense Department amid a push to develop anti-ballistic missile defenses. But there is a real legacy of Arecibo Many scientific discoveries It is possible. For many years it was the main instrument involved in listening for messages from extraterrestrial civilizations, and its striking looks won it a supporting role in feature films. The telescope had a 1000 foot wide dish, and it was even featured in some Hollywood movies due to its huge and attractive structure.

This is a sad day for the world of astronomy.

NSF intends to restore the two LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging facilities, used for geospatial research), the visitor center and the research substation on the neighboring island of Culebra. The humidity is also very high in this region and this also so might have contributed to the degradation of load-bearing cables.



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