The enduring Arecibo Telescope goes quiet after main injury

That's a big dish! The Arecibo radio telescope in its salad days.

That is an enormous dish! The Arecibo radio telescope in its salad days. (credit score: NSF)

Early Monday morning, a cable suspended over the Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico broke and left a 100-foot-long gash within the dish of the long-lasting radio telescope. The three-inch-diameter cable additionally precipitated injury to the panels of the Gregorian dome that’s suspended a whole bunch of toes above the dish and homes the telescope’s receivers. It’s unclear what precipitated the cable to interrupt or when radio astronomers utilizing the telescope will be capable to resume their analysis.

“This was an auxiliary cable used to help the load of the platform, and we’re within the technique of assessing why it broke,” says Zenaida Kotala, the assistant vp for strategic initiatives on the College of Central Florida, which manages the observatory. “We’re working with engineers to find out a method for repairs. Our purpose is to get the power operational as quickly as it’s potential to take action safely.”

Astronomers have used the Arecibo radio telescope to check the cosmos since 1963. For many of its life, the observatory was far and away the biggest telescope of its sort on the planet. (It was solely just lately surpassed by China’s FAST radio telescope.) Its 1,000-foot radio dish is constructed right into a pure melancholy within the surrounding hills and acts like an enormous ear listening for faint radio alerts from galaxies far, far-off.

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