Iconic Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico collapses before plans to demolish

Scientists, students and Puerto Ricans are among those mourning the collapse of the iconic radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.



a view of a stone wall: The Arecibo Observatory is seen collapsed after one of the main cables holding the structure broke in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, on Dec. 1, 2020.


© Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images
The Arecibo Observatory is seen collapsed after one of the main cables holding the structure broke in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, on Dec. 1, 2020.

The telescope collapsed Tuesday morning after showing signs of extreme weakness. The radio-telescope had already suffered major damages after a cable that helped support the 900-ton platform hanging at 450 feet above the dish broke in August. Weeks later, a second cable gave in, putting the telescope at greater risk.

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Initial findings show that the top of all three support towers holding the platform ripped, dropping the instrument to the 1,000-foot-wide reflector dish, according to the National Science Foundation.

MORE: Scientists, students demand action to keep Arecibo radio telescope operating

The NSF said no injuries were reported. The

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Iconic observatory collapses before planned demolition

By Ashley Strickland | CNN

The instrument platform of the 305-meter telescope at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico collapsed overnight, according to the National Science Foundation.

It’s a final blow to one of the most powerful telescopes on Earth that has aided astronomical discoveries for 57 years and withstood hurricanes, earthquakes and tropical storms.

The collapse occurred just weeks after NSF announced that the telescope would be decommissioned and disassembled through a controlled demolition after sustaining irreparable damage earlier this year.

“The instrument platform of the 305m telescope at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico fell overnight. No injuries were reported. NSF is working with stakeholders to assess the situation. Our top priority is maintaining safety. NSF will release more details when they are confirmed,” according to a tweet by the National Science Foundation.

  • This aerial view shows the damage at the Arecibo Observatory after one of the main cables holding

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Iconic radio telescope suffers catastrophic collapse

The Arecibo Observatory’s suspended equipment platform collapsed just before 8 a.m. local time on December 1, falling more than 450 feet and crashing through the telescope’s massive radio dish—a catastrophic ending that scientists and engineers feared was imminent after multiple cables supporting the platform unexpectedly broke in recent months. No one was hurt when the 900-ton platform lost its battle with gravity, according to staff at the observatory in Puerto Rico.



a tree in the middle of a dirt field: This aerial view shows the damage to the Arecibo Observatory after its 900-ton equipment platform broke loose, swung into a nearby rock face, and smashed onto the radio dish below.


© Photograph by Ricardo Arduengo, Getty Images

This aerial view shows the damage to the Arecibo Observatory after its 900-ton equipment platform broke loose, swung into a nearby rock face, and smashed onto the radio dish below.


The telescope itself has been destroyed, although the full extent of the damage to surrounding facilities hasn’t yet been determined. Aerial photos show that the platform likely made a pendulous swing into a nearby rock face. Parts of it, including a large

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The Arecibo telescope’s 900-ton platform has crashed into its disk below and destroyed the iconic radio observatory



Arecibo Observatory over a body of water: The radio-antenna platform of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, as well as three support towers, is in danger of "catastrophic" collapse and falling into the facility's 1,000-foot-wide dish. NAIC Arecibo Observatory/NSF; Business Insider


© NAIC Arecibo Observatory/NSF; Business Insider
The radio-antenna platform of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, as well as three support towers, is in danger of “catastrophic” collapse and falling into the facility’s 1,000-foot-wide dish. NAIC Arecibo Observatory/NSF; Business Insider

  • The Arecibo Observatory’s iconic radio telescope collapsed Tuesday morning.
  • The telescope’s suspended platform, which weighed 900 tons, crashed into its bowl-shaped disk below. The tops of three support towers snapped off as the platform fell.
  • Arecibo’s destruction was not unexpected: The telescope was damaged beyond repair after two cables broke in August and November.
  • Losing Arecibo deals a major blow to efforts that protect Earth from hazardous asteroids and search for signs of intelligent alien life.
  • However, pending major funding, a new state-of-the-art facility could be built in its place.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The second largest radio telescope in the world is no more.

The Arecibo

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After Suffering Irreparable Damage, It’s Lights Out for the Arecibo Observatory’s Iconic Telescope | Smart News

After 57 years of gazing into the universe and helping astronomers unravel the cosmos’ mysteries, the Arecibo Observatory’s world-renowned telescope in Puerto Rico will be torn down, reports Alexandra Witze for Nature.

The observatory has three towers equipped with cables that hold up the telescope’s enormous, 1,000-foot reflector dish. In 2017, Hurricane Maria battered the already deteriorating telescope. This August, an auxiliary cable slipped out of its socket, inflicting a 100-foot-long gash in the dish. Three months later, a main cable connected to that same tower snapped, causing more devastating damage. Teams of engineers looked for remedies to help save the telescope, but repairs would be too risky for a construction team to safely undertake, reports Ashley Strickland for CNN.

Given the age of the telescope, it would need more intensive maintenance in the future since the cables were weaker than originally thought. For this reason, the National Science Foundation

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Iconic SETI Dish Will Be Demolished Due to Risk of ‘Catastrophic’ Collapse

Arecibo Observatory in spring 2019, before the cable failures.

Arecibo Observatory in spring 2019, before the cable failures.
Photo: UCF Today

The recent failure of two support cables at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has destabilized the structure such that it cannot be repaired without placing construction workers at significant risk, according to officials with the National Science Foundation. As feared, the beloved 1,000-foot telescope will have to be decommissioned.

As if 2020 couldn’t get any worse, we received news this morning that the giant dish at Arecibo will have to be demolished. The National Science Foundation came to this hard decision following a review of engineering assessments, which concluded that the observatory is in seriously bad shape and that it cannot be stabilized without placing workers in danger. The NSF is now planning for the controlled decommission of the dish, ending a historic 57-year run.

“I want to say this as forcefully as possible,” said Ralph

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Iconic Arecibo Observatory may be on the brink of collapse after cable failures

No one was expecting the snap on Nov. 6 as engineers at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico weighed their options for dealing with damage to the facility from a cable failure over the summer.

But just as engineers were ready to begin repairs on that secondary cable, which slipped out of its socket in August, they faced a much more serious challenge: one of the main cables unexpectedly snapped, putting the entire facility at risk.

“We have seen some individual wire breaks on that particular cable, but we hadn’t seen any change for weeks,” Francisco Cordova, the director of the observatory, told Space.com.

Related: The Arecibo Observatory: Puerto Rico’s giant radio telescope in photos

“That particular situation was evaluated by the engineering team and determined not to be an issue because the capacity of that cable was so much higher than the load that it was taking, that it

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WPP CEO Says Merging Company’s Iconic Agencies Will Bring ‘Creativity And Technology Together’

As WPP prepares to merge two of its iconic advertising agencies, the company’s CEO says there has “never has been a better time to bring creativity and technology together.”

Last week, London-based WPP said it would merge Grey and AKQA into a single company called AKQA Group. With 6,000 people in 50 countries, it will create a “new network model,” according to the company. And earlier today, WPP announced yet another agency consolidation by folding Geometry into VMLY&R to create a new “creative commerce company.”

“We have always said we have fewer, stronger brands,” WPP CEO Mark Read says about combining Grey and AKQA, adding that “it is important for every company to have a growth trajectory.”

The merger is a part of WPP’s multiyear effort to streamline its agencies within the

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Airbnb is joining forces with iconic ex-Apple design chief Jony Ive



Jonathan Ive, Tim Cook are posing for a picture: Jony Ive led Apple's design team from 1996 to 2019, playing a key role in product launches like the iMac, iPhone, and Apple Watch. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


© Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Jony Ive led Apple’s design team from 1996 to 2019, playing a key role in product launches like the iMac, iPhone, and Apple Watch. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

  • Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said in a blog post Wednesday that the company is partnering with former Apple design chief Jony Ive.
  • “We have made the decision to work together through a multi-year relationship to design the next generation of Airbnb products and services,” Chesky said.
  • Ive led Apple through major product launches like the iMac and iPhone, and Apple Watch, leading its design team from 1996 until stepping down last year to start his own firm LoveFrom.
  • Airbnb was initially rocked by travel slowing down this spring, its valuation reportedly dropping by 40%, but experts say it could boom post-pandemic, and it filed its IPO paperwork in August.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Airbnb is teaming

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