Iconic Obsibo Observatory Radio Telescope collapses after cable breaks

Officials said a giant radio telescope in Puerto Rico played a key role in astronomical discoveries on Tuesday. RCBo Observatory, Is famous as the backdrop for an important scene in James Bond The film “GoldenEye” and other Hollywood hits were discontinued since August due to a breakdown of a subsidiary cable and a cause 100-foot gush On the reflective dish.

Then in early November a main cable broke, prompting the National Science Foundation to announce a few weeks later that it planned to shut down the radio telescope because the damage was too large.

Several scientists and Puerto Ricans mourned the news, with some tearing up during interviews. Puerto Rico meteorologist Deborah Martorell tweeted early Tuesday, “Friends, deeply sorry to tell you that the Aresibo Observatory platform has just collapsed.”

It was the second largest radio telescope in the world and had been in operation for over half a century.

Operated by the National Science Foundation through the University of Central Florida, the iconic observatory was composed of a fixed 1,000-foot-wide dish antenna, built in a bowl-like depression, suspending radio waves from space to a 900-tonne instrument platform. gives. 450 feet up by cable pulled from three support towers.

The 1,000-foot-wide Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, prior to the loss, caused its collapse.

University of Central Florida

For 57 years, the observatory played a leading role in observing the structure and behavior of Earth’s upper atmosphere, using deep space targets, bodies in the solar system, and powerful lasers.

Before its collapse, the observatory had to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes and played a central role in films such as “GoldenEye” and “Contact”.

On August 10, 2020, an auxiliary cable was pulled free from a support tower and crashed onto the dish below, tearing a 100-foot-long dustbin.

University of Central Florida

Bill Harwood contributed to this report.


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