The telescope was featured in many movies and TV shows, including the James Bond movie Goldeneye, the brilliant science fiction film Contact, and the Doctor Who episode "The Ambassadors of Death." Fangrrls is about kicking down doors, breaking boundaries and celebrating female fans with fun, witty and entertaining content. Satellite image ©2020 Maxar Technologies via AP Your opinions are important to us. But it's no small task. From the photos, it looks like cables from one tower snapped, and the 900-ton platform suspended 150 meters above the giant dish swung over and smashed against a rock cliff. Puerto Rico's Areciob Observatory collapsed Tuesday morning after a cable supporting a massive 900-ton platform gave out - officially ending the telescope's 57 years of service. A huge, already damaged radio telescope in Puerto Rico that has played a key role in astronomical discoveries for more than half a century completely collapsed on Tuesday. I'm awaiting more news and will update ths post as it comes in. An image of the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico taken by a SkySat satellite Aug. 10 shows the hole in the telescope's dish caused by a cable that broke earlier that day. "It sounded like a rumble. You can be assured our editors closely monitor every feedback sent and will take appropriate actions. The National Science Foundation, which owns the observatory that is managed by the University of Central Florida, said crews who evaluated the structure after the first incident determined that the remaining cables could handle the additional weight. The main cable that broke was attached to the same tower where the aux cable failed. The Arecibo Observatory is a radio telescope in the municipality of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. NASA used satellite data to create this “damage proxy map” of locations in the San Juan, Puerto Rico, area that are likely damaged as a result of Hurricane Maria (red and yellow pixels). The Arecibo Observatory had been shuttered since August after an auxiliary cable snapped and caused a … It's supported by steel cables that are strung across a natural concavity in the island's topography (a sinkhole that left behind a large depression). Plus Kickstarters to watch, and hot reads! He last used the telescope on Aug. 6, just days before a socket holding the auxiliary cable that snapped failed in what experts believe could be a manufacturing error. Replacing it will be a big project. NASA Maps Ground Changes From Puerto Rico Quake NASA scientists are using satellite data to help federal and local agencies identify areas with potential damage. "When engineers advised NSF that the structure was unstable and presented a danger to work teams and Arecibo staff, we took their warnings seriously.". Comics Wire: Marvel's next X-Men era, and King in Black. It's a very deep, terrible feeling.". "The maintenance was kept up as best as we could," he said. "It was a snowball effect," he said. The content is provided for information purposes only. Credit: WIRE Buzz: Gal Gadot goes all in for action with Bond-like ‘Heart of Stone’; DuckTales quacks farewell; more, Mad Max: Fury Road's Hugh Keays-Byrne, who played Immortan Joe, dies at 73, Scream stars received fake scripts, so they don’t even know who Ghostface killer is this time, Not the timeline you're looking for? Satellite image ©2020 Maxar Technologies via AP The second-largest radio telescope in the world had been operating for more than half a century. I sincerely hope that a new facility, upgraded and with modern considerations, will rise in its place. By submitting your information, you agree to our, UPDATED: The giant Arecibo radio telescope to be decommissioned due to damage. NASA has released an eye-opening new map showing the staggering extent of damage in Puerto Rico after last week’s devastating hurricane.. A photo of the 900-ton Arecibo receiver platform at night, showing two of the massive towers and cables used to support the platform. ARECIBO, Puerto Rico —A huge, already damaged radio telescope in Puerto Rico that has played a key role in astronomical discoveries for more than half a century completely collapsed on Tuesday. part may be reproduced without the written permission. I don't have words to express it. Medical Xpress covers all medical research advances and health news, Tech Xplore covers the latest engineering, electronics and technology advances, Science X Network offers the most comprehensive sci-tech news coverage on the web. When it fell it damaged the dish, tearing a 30-meter gash in it, and also damaged several of the panels making up the Gregorian dome. Credit: UCF. The tops of all three suspension towers were torn off. "The world without the observatory loses, but Puerto Rico loses even more.". This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission. Credit: NASA. Like Comic-Con. By September plans were in place to replace the broken aux cable, but then on 6 November one of the main cables supporting the platform broke, catching everyone off guard. Parts fell and damaged the dish and several buildings as well. No one was hurt, but this incident provoked NSF to inspect the telescope to see what could be done to repair it. More than 1,000 earthquakes have shaken Puerto Rico since the beginning of the year. This site uses cookies to assist with navigation, analyse your use of our services, and provide content from third parties. Then a main cable broke in early November. Get weekly and/or daily updates delivered to your inbox. Satellite Data of Puerto Rico Identifies Possible Damage Areas. Each tower has four main cables attached to support the platform, so there are 12 in all. The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has been damaged by a broken cable. Scientists use satellite data to help response agencies identify damaged areas. Any or all of these may have been part of the issue. The damage is extensive, and I don't know if this can be salvaged. Strain on a metal plate caused it to buckle, sending a cascade of failures through the structure of the then-decades-old 'scope. NASA’s Disasters Program has delivered to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) a map of areas in eastern Puerto … The venerable Arecibo radio telescope, a mammoth 305-meter dish nestled in the forested hills of Puerto Rico, is to be decommissioned after a pair of cables that support a huge platform above the dish broke. Question about things moving through outer space. Also, there is wildlife (including endangered species) that thrive under the dish, and those need to be considered as well. Your email address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the email. 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It would be a shame to let this one slip away forever. Neither your address nor the recipient's address will be used for any other purpose. A huge, already damaged radio telescope in Puerto Rico that has played a key role in astronomical discoveries for more than half a century completely … The Arecibo Observatory space telescope, which was damaged in August and again in November from broken cables which tore holes in the structure, … The Mandalorian might be set before the ending of Rebels, Ryan Reynolds has Satan meet the 2020 love of his life in hilarious Match dating ad, From acclaimed horror comic to Netflix anime, 'Trese' is the little Filipino comic that could. You can unsubscribe at any time and we'll never share your details to third parties. Credit: NSF. He said that it was extremely difficult to say whether anything could have been done to prevent the damage that occurred after the first cable snapped in August. SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A huge, already damaged radio telescope in Puerto Rico that has played a key role in astronomical discoveries for more than half a century completely collapsed on Tuesday. See the latest Puerto Rico enhanced weather satellite map, including areas of cloud cover. On 10 August 2020, one of the auxiliary cables slipped from its post and fell to the ground. It's also not clear how the decommissioning will be done just yet. This satellite image provided by 2020 Maxar Technologies shows the damaged radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico on Nov. 17, 2020. The telescope was built in the 1960s with money from the Defense Department amid a push to develop anti-ballistic missile defenses. Thank you for taking your time to send in your valued opinion to Science X editors. It reflects radio waves from space up into a platform suspended above it that has various radio receivers in it to do different kinds of science. New satellite image reveals the damage that shut down the facility, ending an era in astronomical observation. The aux cables are made of steel and over 8 centimeters thick, and are very heavy. Keeping the observatory running with a new 'scope is an important mission. © 2020 The Associated Press. Except every week in your inbox. I'll note that in 1988, the 100-meter radio telescope in Green Bank West Virginia collapsed. Satellite-based images of the density of nighttime lights across eastern Puerto Rico before (left) and after (right) Hurricane María, on September 27 and 28. Your feedback will go directly to Science X editors. The telescope was featured in many movies and TV shows, including the James Bond movie Goldeneye, the brilliant science fiction film Contact, and the Doctor Who episode "The Ambassadors of Death. Also, Puerto Rico has been battered by hurricanes which strain the structure, and a series of earthquakes near the observatory struck late in 2019 as well. The enormous Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, in a photo taken in 2019 before it was damaged by broken cables. Engineers cannot … The 305-meter dish is composed of nearly 40,000 panels, each about 1 by 3 meters in size. The platform is truly enormous and heavy, and it will take great care to disassemble it properly and safely. Satellite images show an area west of the city of Ponce shifted downwards and … By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Privacy Policy Losing this facility is just awful. Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope, already damaged, collapses December 1, 2020 by irfanguru Leave a Comment This satellite image provided by 2020 Maxar Technologies shows the damaged radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2020. As of 2018, the observatory is operated by University of Central Florida, Yang Enterprises and UMET, under cooperative agreement with the US National Science Foundation (NSF). The damage can be seen to the left of center of the dish. In this case, though, the cable itself snapped. The U.S. National Science Foundation had earlier announced that it would close the radio telescope. Astronomers and residents of Puerto Rico mourned as an eye on the cosmos shuttered unexpectedly overnight. "I am one of those students who visited it when young and got inspired," said Abel Méndez, a physics and astrobiology professor at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo who has used the telescope for research. Radar observations of the binary asteroid 2017 YE5 show the two components in motion. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1449240174198-2'); }); The telescope's 900-ton receiver platform and the Gregorian dome—a structure as tall as a four-story building that houses secondary reflectors—fell onto the northern portion of the vast reflector dish more than 400 feet below. The NSF said at the time that it intended to eventually reopen the visitor center and restore operations at the observatory's remaining assets, including its two LIDAR facilities used for upper atmospheric and ionospheric research, including analyzing cloud cover and precipitation data. The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, in a satellite … About 250 scientists worldwide had been using the observatory when it closed in August, including Méndez, who was studying stars to detect habitable planets. Using synthetic aperture radar data from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites operated by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Caltech in … Broken cable damages giant radio telescope in Puerto Rico, Elephants found to have the highest volume of daily water loss ever recorded in a land animal, Sediment cores from Dogger Littoral suggest Dogger Island survived ancient tsunami, Study of river otters near oilsands operations shows reduced baculum strength, A possible way to measure ancient rate of cosmic ray strikes using 'paleo-detectors', Thermonuclear type-I X-ray bursts detected from MAXI J1807+132. "I was screaming. I am not a radio astronomer but many of my friends are and have used Arecibo in the past. Apparently the problems in the cable were deeper than suspected. Click here to sign in with "(The National Science Foundation) did the best that they could with what they have.". A dozen auxiliary cables were installed to support the extra weight, attached to the three towers along with the main cables. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no Friedman ran up a small hill near his home and confirmed his suspicions: A cloud of dust hung in the air where the structure once stood, demolishing hopes held by some scientists that the telescope could somehow be repaired. Can iron form via processes like the r- or s-process? The ineractive map makes it easy to navitgate around the globe. Arecibo provides a lot of economic support for the citizens of the island, as well as STEM support for both teachers and students. This document is subject to copyright. NASA scientists are using satellite data to help federal and local agencies identify areas with potential damage. The telescope has been used to track asteroids on a path to Earth, conduct research that led to a Nobel Prize and determine if a planet is potentially habitable. ", The enormous Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, in a photo taken in 2019 before it was damaged by broken cables. According to news reports, Irma's damage had already left roughly two-thirds of the population without electricity and roughly one-third of the population without clean water. "It was a chapter of my life.". It also served as a training ground for graduate students and drew about 90,000 visitors a year. The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world, was damaged Monday when an auxiliary cable that supports the suspended platform broke… They were very old, and moisture seeping in over the years may have contributed to the problem. Science X Daily and the Weekly Email Newsletter are free features that allow you to receive your favorite sci-tech news updates in your email inbox. "We are saddened by this situation but thankful that no one was hurt," NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan said in a statement. It had endured hurricanes, tropical humidity and a recent string of earthquakes in its 57 years of operation. "It's a huge loss," said Carmen Pantoja, an astronomer and professor at the University of Puerto Rico who used the telescope for her doctorate. In the satellite imagery you can see small green spots dotting the gray dish. It was too much for the old girl to take.". On 10 August 2020 an auxiliary cable broke, damaging some Arecibo radio dish panels. After consideration and an investigation by an engineering team, the NSF concluded that there is no way to fix these problems while still maintaining the safety of any crew who would do the work. It's not clear what might have damaged the cables. This also raises concerns that the remaining 11 cables may be worn more than previously thought. It was replaced by an enormous fully steerable 100-meter state of the art telescope, so perhaps the same can be done here. However, observatory director Francisco Córdova, said that while the NSF decided it was too risky to repair the damaged cables before Tuesday's collapse, he believes there had been options, such as relieving tension in certain cables or using helicopters to help redistribute weight. This satellite image provided by 2020 Maxar Technologies shows the damaged radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2020. This satellite image provided by 2020 Maxar Technologies shows the damaged radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2020. The information you enter will appear in your e-mail message and is not retained by Phys.org in any form. An auxiliary cable snapped in August, causing a 100-foot gash on the 1,000-foot-wide (305-meter-wide) dish and damaged the receiver platform that hung above it. Days after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rocked Puerto Rico, followed by hundreds of aftershocks, the full extent of damage is only beginning to be realized. The observatory is the sole facility of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center (NAIC), which is the formal name of the observatory. The NSF therefore decided to decommission the telescope. The collapse at 7:56 a.m. on Tuesday wasn't a surprise because many of the wires in the thick cables holding the structure snapped over the weekend, Ángel Vázquez, the telescope's director of operations, told The Associated Press. We do not guarantee individual replies due to extremely high volume of correspondence. Update your browser for more security and the best experience on this site. I knew exactly what it was," said Jonathan Friedman, who worked for 26 years as a senior research associate at the observatory and still lives near it. Additional missions are planned and those photos from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will be available online as soon as possible. Radar observations of the binary asteroid 2017 YE5 show the two components in motion. Credit: Arecibo/GBO/NSF/NASA/JPL-Caltech. No one knows if the other cables are damaged or not, or if they can carry the designed load for much longer. In a press conference, reps for the NSF were very careful to say that they intend to work with the Puerto Rico and scientific communities, and Congress, to continue the observatory itself even as the 305-meter is shut down. It's obviously a huge blow to radio astronomy, and to such important fields as studying potentially hazardous asteroids. The main cables are also about 8 cm thick, weigh 7 tons, and are composed of 160 steel wires braided together. Stabilizing or replacing the cable may also accelerate the collapse. We have so many ways to do so, so many different and critical senses we employ to understand our environment, both local and very, very distant. In personal terms, well, I'm bummed. There are historical buildings under one tower that need to be preserved, for example. PlanetLabs SkySat satellite image of the Arecibo radio telescope taken on 10 August 2020. But also, Arecibo has been around my whole life, and was such a versatile and well-loved instrument. This satellite image provided by 2020 Maxar Technologies shows the damaged radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico on Nov. 17, 2020. From its construction in the 1960s until 2011, the observatory was managed by Cornell University. What do stars actually look like from up close? Scientists worldwide had been petitioning U.S. officials and others to reverse the NSF's decision to close the observatory. This aerial view shows the damage at the Arecibo Observatory after one of the main cables holding the reciever broke in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, on December 1, 2020. UPDATE (1 December 2020): The platform over the dish fell this morning in an uncontrolled collapse. By DÁNICA COTO, Associated Press. This is a much more serious problem. SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A huge radio telescope in Puerto Rico that has long played a key role in astronomical discoveries collapsed on Tuesday, officials said. The LIDAR facilities are still operational, along with a 12-meter telescope and a photometer used to study photons in the atmosphere, Vázquez said. That one, the biggest quake to hit Puerto Rico in a century, killed at least one person, damaged nearly 600 buildings and caused at least $110 million in damage, Reuters reported. NASA scientists are helping local and federal agencies assess the extent of the damage in Puerto Rico following a 6.4-magnitude earthquake and hundreds of aftershocks. Damage in August done by a broken cable that supported a metal platform, creating a 100-foot (30-meter) gash to the radio telescope’s reflector dish in Arecibo, Puerto Rico The distinctive observatory was the setting for the dramatic climax of GoldenEye, starring Pierce Brosnan as 007. An inspection before the main cable snapped showed that 12 of those wires had broken in it, but this was not considered an immediate threat; enough of the other wires were intact that the engineers concluded that there was enough redundancy in the wires that this did not pose an immediate emergency. All rights reserved. Hurricane Maria was a deadly Category 5 hurricane that devastated Dominica, St Croix, and Puerto Rico in September 2017. The structure hanging down is the Gregorian dome, damaged in the first cable break. What is the rate of ejecta deposited between planets? Scientists had used the telescope to study pulsars to detect gravitational waves as well as search for neutral hydrogen, which can reveal how certain cosmic structures are formed. Also, after the incident engineers determined the weight it bore was only at 60% of its minimum breaking strength, and it was a calm day (no wind). Earthquakes cause permanent changes to the ground surface. It has been used to study Earth's upper atmosphere, mapping near-Earth asteroids and the Moon, observe distant galaxies, and even send signals to a distant star cluster in an attempt to communicate with any potential civilizations there. (CNN) The famous observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, featured in the … "I am still very much affected.". The desire to study the planet we live on and the Universe around us is one of the noblest aspects of humanity. This satellite image provided by 2020 Maxar Technologies shows the damaged radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2020. This satellite image provided by 2020 Maxar Technologies shows the damaged radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2020. The enormous telescope has been in use since it was completed in 1963, operated by several organizations in cooperation with the US National Science Foundation (NSF). Meanwhile, installing a new telescope would cost up to $350 million, money the NSF doesn't have, Vázquez said, adding it would have to come from U.S. Congress. or. This satellite image provided by 2020 Maxar Technologies shows the damaged radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2020. However, the alternative is to do nothing, and that will almost certainly lead to an uncontrolled collapse of the platform, which would be catastrophic. The triangular platform weighs 900 tons and is hung 150 meters above the dish using massive cables strung from three huge towers (one is about 110 meters high, the other two about 80 meters). "I'm trying to recover," he said. Credit: UCF. “We understand how much Arecibo means to this community and to Puerto Rico.” An auxiliary cable broke in August and tore a 100-foot hole in … The telescope consists of two main structures. and Terms of Use. The collapse stunned many scientists who had relied on what was until recently the largest radio telescope in the world. In 1997 the facility was updated with a new structure on the platform called the Gregorian dome, which allowed the installation of several new receivers. The NSF plans on decommissioning it soon. By Alexandra Witze, ... Puerto Rico—is permanently closing. In other words, hopes are that a new telescope will be built to replace it. amanda: the arecibo observatory in puerto rico is the second largest radio telescope in the world, and for 50 years, has discovered new details about our solar system and worlds beyond it. No injuries have been reported. Until China built its 500-meter dish in 2016, Arecibo was the largest filled-dish single radio telescope on the planet. Credit: PlanetLabs.
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