Officials said a giant radio telescope in Puerto Rico played a key role in astronomical discoveries on Tuesday., Is famous as the backdrop for an important scene in The film “GoldenEye” and other Hollywood hits were discontinued since August due to a breakdown of a subsidiary cable and a cause 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.
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”.
Bill Harwood contributed to this report.