Arecibo telescope damaged

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UBT - Timbo
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Arecibo telescope damaged

Post by UBT - Timbo » Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:39 am

Hi all

I found out that the Arecibo dish has been badly damaged, in the early hours of 10th August, by a broken steel suport cable that once "free" of it's mounting, lashed around and broke up about a 30m wide hole in the dish as well as some panels in the Gregorian dome that houses some of the receiving equipment.

Fortunately, it happened at a time (about 2:45am), when few people were active on the observatory and so no injuries have been reported.

Report showing major damage to the dish:
https://earthsky.org/space/arecibo-obse ... hing-cable

This is from University of Central Florida that helps to fund the site on behalf of the NSF:
https://www.ucf.edu/news/broken-cable-d ... servatory/

This shows the broken cable in it's report:
https://www.space.com/arecibo-observato ... -down.html

And another report:
https://astronomynow.com/2020/08/11/are ... ble-break/

Obviously, this is unlikely to affect SETI@home who have mostly shut down their project.

However, the lack of new observations especially of NEO's, will mean that other observatories will need to fill in the gap until Arecibo can be repaired.

regards
Tim

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