Arecibo Observatory Closing

Randy Jennings

May 18, 2013
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The NSF announced Thursday that it will close the huge telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. The NSF said it’s too dangerous to keep operating the single dish radio telescope -- one of the world’s largest -- given the significant damage it recently sustained. An auxiliary cable broke in August and tore a 100-foot hole in the reflector dish and damaged the dome above it. Then on Nov. 6, one of the telescope’s main steel cables snapped, causing further damage and leading officials to warn that the entire structure could collapse. It was used in three major areas of research: radio astronomy, atmospheric science, and radar astronomy. Full story: Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope to close in blow to science
Oct 17, 2013
Warsaw, Indiana
I had the fortune of visiting the dish in 2005 and again in 2009. It's a shame that it will be demolished, but when you think about all the years those cables endured hurricanes and earthquakes, it was only a matter of time before there would be a catastrophic failure of some sort. No word on whether it will be rebuilt or not.