This week, the world‘s second largest radio telescope suddenly collapsed. Drone images show how the cables holding the platform of the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico snap in place one by one.
The telescope weighs 900 tons and the whole has a diameter of 300 meters. Hurricane Maria already caused considerable damage in 2017. Cables broke in August and last month. For the National Science Foundation (NSF) that shared the images, the radio telescope could no longer be saved. There were plans for a controlled demolition, but they are no longer necessary. When another cable snapped, the telescope collapsed 140 meters.
The Arecibo Observatory played an important role in many astronomical discoveries for more than half a century. The telescope in its 57 years of existence withstood hurricanes, the humidity of the tropics and earthquakes, but now it was too much for him. “It’s a big loss,” Carmen Pantoja, a professor at the University of Puerto Rico, told The Guardian earlier. “It was an important chapter in my life.”
View the images here:
Bron (nen): The Guardian