Photo credit: ArsTechnica
The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico houses the world’s most powerful radio space telescope, and unfortunately, it incurred heavy damage when an auxiliary cable that stabilizes its radio antenna snapped. Situated in the middle of a dense forest, this telescope listens for radio signals from distant galaxies and has contributed to numerous breakthroughs in astronomy. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Besides tracking asteroids that could endanger Earth, the telescope played a major role in the “SETI” program, and used by astronomer Carl Sagan to send an interstellar message. Technicians are currently working around the clock to get the telescope back online and still trying to assess what exactly happened, while ensuring this won’t lead to future problems.
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We’ll find a way to repair this particular issue and continue to move forward. We’ve overcome a lot in our 50-year history, from Hurricane Maria to very recent rash of earthquakes to now this. So we’re a pretty resilient bunch down here and we’re going to figure out a way to continue to move forward, doing exciting science for the world,” said Arecibo Observatory Director Francisco Cordova.