Terrifying footage shows collapse of Arecibo Observatory’s massive radio telescope

It took 17 seconds for Arecibo Observatory’s massive radio telescope to crumble. It will take much longer for the dust to settle.

The iconic structure in Puerto Rico collapsed on Dec. 1 after cable failures in August and November made the telescope too delicate to safely repair. The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), which owns the site, knew that the structure could fall any time and was evaluating how to go about decommissioning the telescope. Now, the agency has shifted to evaluating what to do with its wreckage.

“We’re in the assessment phase,” Ralph Gaume, director of NSF’s Division of Astronomical Sciences, said during a news conference held today (Dec. 3).

Related: Losing Arecibo Observatory creates a hole that can’t be filled

He said that the University of Central Florida, which operates the site for the NSF, has hired a clean-up contractor who arrived at the telescope yesterday. “They’re

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Hubble telescope witnesses ‘very weird’ fast fade of Stingray nebula

Hubble’s observations of the Stingray nebula in 1996 and 2016 show the dramatic changes in the glowing gases. 


NASA, ESA, B. Balick (University of Washington), M. Guerrero (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía), and G. Ramos-Larios (Universidad de Guadalajara)

In a universe where processes are often measured in millions and billions of years, the Hubble Space Telescope witnessed something extraordinary over the course of just two decades. The Stringray nebula went from bright in 1996 to faded in 2016, as if it had been left hanging on a cosmic drying line.

Stingray, more formally known as Hen 3-1357, was hailed as the youngest known planetary nebula when it was first noticed. The nebula formed during the star’s end of life when it ejected glowing gases that gave it a marine-animal-like shape. 

What’s so wild about the

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Gaia space telescope measures solar system’s acceleration

Gaia space telescope measures solar system's acceleration
The image shows the apparent motion of 3000 randomly selected, distant quasars caused by the acceleration of our solar system. For each quasar an arrow indicates the direction in which it is accelerated. Note how the motions appear to converge towards a point just below right of the direction to the centre of the Milky Way, which is in the image centre. The background shows Gaia’s all-sky view of our Milky Way Galaxy and neighbouring galaxies, based on the data released in the new EDR3 Gaia catalogue. Credit: ESA/Gaia/DPAC / CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

The measurement of the acceleration of our solar system by astronomers of TU Dresden is a scientific highlight of the third Gaia catalog, which is now being released. With its publication on December 3, 2020, at 12:00 , the public will have access to high-precision astronomical data, such as positions, velocities, magnitudes and colors of about

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Massive Arecibo Telescope Collapses in Puerto Rico | Smart News

On Tuesday, the radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico collapsed, ending its nearly 60 years of operation, reports Dánica Coto for the Associated Press (AP).

The collapse saw a 900-ton equipment platform fall from more than 400 feet up and crash into the northern part of the telescope’s 1,000-foot-wide dish, per the AP. The National Science Foundation (NSF), which manages the facility, announced that no injuries have been reported.

This final death knell for Arecibo’s telescope, which tracked asteroids approaching Earth and searched the heavens for habitable planets, followed other serious damages to the massive

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Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope, already damaged, collapses

ARECIBO, 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.

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 U.S. National Science Foundation had earlier announced that it would close the radio telescope. 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. Then a main cable broke in early November.

The collapse stunned many scientists who had relied on what was until recently the largest radio telescope in the world.

“It sounded like a rumble. I knew exactly what it was,” said

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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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Giant Puerto Rico radio telescope collapses, following damage

The Arecibo Observatory, a huge and previously damaged radio telescope in Puerto Rico that played a key role in astronomical discoveries for more than half a century, completely collapsed on Tuesday.

The telescope’s 900-ton receiver platform fell onto the reflector dish more than 400 feet below.

Puerto Rican meteorologist Ada Monzón broke into tears on local TV as she delivered the devastating news to other heartbroken Puerto Ricans across the U.S. territory.

“I have to inform you, with my heart in hand, that the Arecibo Observatory collapsed,” she said in Spanish. “We made every attempt to save it.”

The U.S. National Science Foundation had earlier announced that the Arecibo Observatory would be closed. An auxiliary cable snapped in August, causing a 100-foot gash on the 1,000-foot-wide (305-meter-wide) reflector dish and damaged the receiver platform that hung above it. Then a main cable broke in early November.

No injuries were reported

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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 in Puerto Rico Collapses

The enormous Arecibo radio telescope, a destination for astronomers perched in the mountains of Puerto Rico, has collapsed, the National Science Foundation said on Tuesday.

The telescope’s 900-ton receiver platform, which was suspended by cables connected to three towers, fell onto the 1,000-foot antenna dish sometime overnight, the foundation said.

“The platform fell unexpectedly,” said Joshua Chamot, a spokesman for the foundation, which owns the telescope at the Arecibo Observatory. Officials said they were assessing the collapse before releasing more details. They did not specify when the platform had collapsed or why it fell.

“As we move forward, we will be looking for ways to assist the scientific community and maintain our strong relationship with the people of Puerto Rico,” the foundation said on Twitter.

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Huge Puerto Rico Radio Telescope, Already Damaged, Collapses | World News

By DÁNICA COTO, Associated Press

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.

The telescope’s 900-ton receiver platform fell onto the reflector dish more than 400 feet below.

The U.S. National Science Foundation had earlier announced that the Arecibo Observatory would be closed. 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. Then a main cable broke in early November.

The collapse stunned many scientists who had relied on what was until recently the largest radio telescope in the world.

“It sounded like a rumble. I knew exactly what it was,” said Jonathan Friedman, who worked for 26 years as a senior research associate at the observatory and still

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