Science

Puerto Rico’s iconic Arecibo Observatory will not be replaced after it collapsed to ruin 2 years ago. Dramatic photos and video show pieces of the broken telescope being overtaken by the jungle.

Puerto Rico’s iconic Arecibo Observatory will not be replaced after it collapsed to ruin 2 years ago. Dramatic photos and video show pieces of the broken telescope being overtaken by the jungle.

Side-by-side images of the Arecibo Observatory, before and after its collapse, show the dramatic damage that ended an era of space exploration.

Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, left, before the 2020 collapse and after the collapse, right, in October 2022.Arecibo Observatory/Paola Rosa-Aquino

  • Before and after pictures Arecibo Observatory show dramatically collapse thus ending an era in space exploration.

  • Astronomers mourned the loss of the observatory they faced natural disasters.

  • For nearly 60 years, the Arecibo Observatory has made significant contributions to astronomy.

Arecibo Observatory, The legendary radio telescope, nestled in the lush mountains of Puerto Rico, has served as a primary lookout into the cosmos for nearly six decades.

From tracking asteroids to discovering the first one planets outside our solar systemArecibo made a fundamental contribution to our knowledge of the universe.

The telescope’s observing equipment hung from a platform strung over a 1,000-foot radio antenna until December 1, 2020. After a series of disasters, from earthquakes to hurricanes, cables that support that platform have issuedcausing the telescope to collapse onto the huge antenna below it.

Here’s how the telescope behaves two years after its collapse.

The telescope is embedded in a natural sinkhole in northwestern Puerto Rico.

high altitude image of the Arecibo observatory

A high-altitude view of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, taken in the 1980s.Arecibo Observatory

Members of Arecibo’s neighboring communities helped build the observatory.

Workers connecting and raising cables supporting the platform in September 1962.

Workers connecting and raising the cables that supported the platform in September 1962.Arecibo Observatory

The observatory first opened in November 1963. At first it was made of metal mesh, which meant that you could see through it to the abyss below.

An aerial view of the William E. Gordon Telescope in its first form.

Aerial view of Arecibo’s William E. Gordon Telescope before its dish plates were replaced in 1973.Cornell University/Arecibo Observatory

Arecibo was a workhorse for astronomers.

Astronomers Larry Webster and Jill Tarter look at computer screens at the observatory on October 10, 1992. They are working to begin the search for signs of extraterrestrial life.

Astronomers Larry Webster and Jill Tarter look at computer screens at the observatory on October 10, 1992. They begin their search for signs of extraterrestrial life.Roger Ressmeyer/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

In 1974, it broadcast the first radio message intended for an extraterrestrial audience. The coded message contained detailed chemical formulas for the components of DNA, as well as simple drawings of a human figure and Arecibo.

telescope drawings

The Arecibo message, with colors added to highlight the drawings of DNA, humans and telescopes. Astronomers hoped that any intelligent civilization living near the Milky Way galaxy would hear it.noro

He discovered the first known exoplanet orbiting a pulsar, or the dense, radiation-emitting remnants of a collapsed giant star, in 1992.

Artist's impression of the extrasolar planets in the pulsar, PSR B1257+12.

Artist’s impression of extrasolar planets in the pulsar PSR B1257+12.NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt

Teleskop was a movie star thanks to his performances in “GoldenEye” and “Contact”.

A screenshot of Jamie Foster from the movie "Contact"  looking at the Arecibo observatory

The Arecibo Observatory was featured in the 1997 film Contact, starring Jodie Foster.ostinatoscope/YouTube

The radio telescope had a 1,000-foot-wide, aluminum antenna that covered 18 acres in northwestern Puerto Rico.

Man on cables above ground via radio telescope

A technician checks the cables that hang the receiver over the radio telescope antenna in July 1989.Roger Ressmeyer/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

The cables helped support a metal platform high above the vessel.

Aerial view of the Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.

Aerial view of the Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico on July 9, 2012.Universal Images Group/Getty Images

The receiver was on a 900-ton platform, suspended 450 feet above the antenna, on a 304-foot jib.

The receiver was on a 900-ton platform suspended 450 feet above the antenna on a 304-foot mobile arm.

Arecibo’s massive antenna reflected radio waves from space to its suspended platform on July 9, 2012.Universal Images Group via Getty Images

It collapsed in December 2020, after being hit by Hurricane Maria in 2017 and rocked by an earthquake.

The cables connecting the suspension platform to one of the towers snapped.

Two critical cables snapped, causing the suspended platform to collapse and puncture Arecibo’s vessel.Paola Rosa-Aquino

Videos of the fall show it began when cables connecting the suspension platform to one of the towers snapped.

There are 19,000 remaining plates on the plate from the original 37,000.

There are 19,000 remaining plates on the plate from the original 37,000.

The collapse damaged many of the panels that received the incoming radio waves, leaving an expanse of greenery beneath.Paola Rosa-Aquino

Side-by-side images of the Arecibo Observatory, before and after its collapse, show the dramatic damage that ended an era of space exploration.

Side-by-side images of the Arecibo Observatory, before and after its collapse, show the dramatic damage that ended an era of space exploration.

Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, left, before the 2020 collapse and after the collapse, right, in October 2022.Arecibo Observatory/Paola Rosa-Aquino

The National Science Foundation recently announced that it will not rebuild Arecibo. The legacy of the telescope, however, will live on.

Entrance to the Arecibo Observatory in October 2022.

Entrance to the Arecibo Observatory, in October 2022.Paola Rosa-Aquino

Read the original article at Business Insider



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