Arecibo Telescope Collapses in Puerto Rico


“Arecibo Observatory” by sharkhats is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

By: Oliver Singhvi, Journalist

The Arecibo Observatory was a radio telescope in Puerto Rico that recently collapsed. It had an equipment platform suspended over the main dish that was becoming less and less secure this year and finally it fell. The 900 ton platform landed on and seriously damaged the dish and put it out of commission. This wasn’t entirely unexpected because a cable fell down in April that damaged the telescope, and another one snapped earlier in November.

The telescope was 57 years old and helped study different planets and extraterrestrial places. It had survived earthquakes, hurricanes and many other disasters. It was also featured in movies quite often because of its significance to astronomy and atmospheric science. Its discovery of pulsars led to a Nobel Prize in 1993. It also studied asteroids to find their potential danger to the earth. It will not be forgotten by members of the astronomer community, and residents of Puerto Rico.