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