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mahatmakanejeeves

(56,337 posts)
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 08:06 AM Dec 2020

Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope collapses; many mourning

Source: Phys.org

DECEMBER 1, 2020

Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope collapses; many mourning

by Dnica Coto

A huge radio telescope in Puerto Rico that has long played a key role in astronomical discoveries collapsed on Tuesday, officials said.

The Arecibo Observatory had been shuttered since August after an auxiliary cable snapped and caused a 100-foot gash on the reflector dish. Then a main cable broke in early November, leading the National Science Foundation to declare just weeks later that it planned to close the radio telescope because the damage was too great.

Many scientists and Puerto Ricans mourned the news, with some tearing up during interviews.

It is the second largest radio telescope in the world and had been operating for more than half a century.

2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Read more: https://phys.org/news/2020-12-huge-puerto-rico-radio-telescope.html



I checked AP. I can't find it there. I'll put that up when I get it. I can find a lot of articles saying that collapse is immiment.

The demise happened quickly. Officials just put the antenna off-limits a few months ago. There were threads at DU about that.
58 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope collapses; many mourning (Original Post) mahatmakanejeeves Dec 2020 OP
It is a metaphor for Republican commitment to science Zorro Dec 2020 #1
So true. If god intended Republicans to fly, there wouldn't be any Republicans. jaxexpat Dec 2020 #6
This message was self-deleted by its author jaxexpat Dec 2020 #7
We couldn't do maintenance on a national scientific treasure Chainfire Dec 2020 #2
its been happening for 30 years under a rethug do nothing congress. AllaN01Bear Dec 2020 #11
THIS X 1000 orangecrush Dec 2020 #47
Damn! Sad beyond words! lastlib Dec 2020 #3
:( TommyCelt Dec 2020 #8
Thank you for that important point. niyad Dec 2020 #15
Stand down now good and faithful servant. Duty done. Thank you. sarge43 Dec 2020 #4
It's gone. pm_me_grey_paint Dec 2020 #5
What an awful educational loss for children of PR Submariner Dec 2020 #9
Many years ago I was running Seti@home on a couple of desktops Arne Dec 2020 #20
Terrific film PCIntern Dec 2020 #53
: ( all around! The kids, local workers, scientists, human knowledge. I... electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #38
Two of my good friends have worked there. a la izquierda Dec 2020 #10
Oh, that's so sad! : ( It looked amazing! electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #39
This is how GOP has been making America great again. IronLionZion Dec 2020 #12
Who's watch was it when the telescope failed? One guess! usaf-vet Dec 2020 #13
Oh, geeeez, "Trump Years" are so l-o--n---g... electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #40
Was the necessary maintenance not done or not funded? Huge loss. Evolve Dammit Dec 2020 #14
Because the wall is more important dalton99a Dec 2020 #16
I maintain that Hurricane Maria basically finished it off structurally BumRushDaShow Dec 2020 #17
Thanks. -sigh- electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #46
The San Juan Doppler Radar is continually maintained BumRushDaShow Dec 2020 #49
Woah! That's... intense. A serious case, that you propose. electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #50
OMG. This is heartbreaking, for me because it really says who we are as Kashkakat v.2.0 Dec 2020 #18
That's so sad! 2naSalit Dec 2020 #19
It is 2020 colorado_ufo Dec 2020 #21
Alzheimer's on a national scale. nt hay rick Dec 2020 #22
Golden Eye - observatory scene packman Dec 2020 #23
+1 dalton99a Dec 2020 #26
Perhaps ET resented the privacy implications? BobTheSubgenius Dec 2020 #24
The telescope was essentially the hero of James Gunn's novel, *The Listeners*... First Speaker Dec 2020 #25
I wonder if the missing obelisks are tied to this somehow? intrepidity Dec 2020 #27
Just another in a long line of degradations of American scientific prowess... Moostache Dec 2020 #28
I heartily second your post krispos42 Dec 2020 #29
Arecibo was our best tool for tracking near-Earth asteroids... which we need to do. paulkienitz Dec 2020 #30
Arecibo wasn't the only one doing that, though? electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #41
We do have other radar trackers, but they have far less range. paulkienitz Dec 2020 #52
Oh, wow, that's way less! Wonder what will pick up the slack. electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #57
Time to build a better one... on the dark side of the moon. Space Force! Calling Moon Base Alpha Baclava Dec 2020 #31
Final collapse may have been triggered by earthquake in Dominican Republic. SeattleVet Dec 2020 #32
Depressing, but thanks. electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #45
Drone footage - Observatory Collapses Arecibo Puerto Rico Ptah Dec 2020 #33
I'm sorry if this was already shown, and sorry to show it, Arne Dec 2020 #54
Here's the YouTube from that article. Thanks, Arne. Ptah Dec 2020 #55
Found a better pic to show an overhead shot of the collapse BumRushDaShow Dec 2020 #34
This thing was awe inspiring. I am very glad that I got to see it in its hay day. littlemissmartypants Dec 2020 #35
How wonderful. Can you post any pics from your visit? electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #42
I wish I could. I went years ago, way before cell phones. littlemissmartypants Dec 2020 #43
Ah, well. Cool about the Forest, too. electric_blue68 Dec 2020 #44
I really did. ❤ nt littlemissmartypants Dec 2020 #48
I lived in Puerto Rico pfitz59 Dec 2020 #36
NSF divested the Green Bank radiotelescope, as well Yeehah Dec 2020 #37
Less radio interference and more to observe from the Southern Hemisphere. roamer65 Dec 2020 #51
Here is NSF video of the moment of collapse (includes drone footage) BumRushDaShow Dec 2020 #56
That drone footage is amazing. Thanks. NT mahatmakanejeeves Dec 2020 #58

jaxexpat

(6,532 posts)
6. So true. If god intended Republicans to fly, there wouldn't be any Republicans.
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 08:28 AM
Dec 2020

Or their "perfect", over-fertilized, lawns which I hate. Stay away from the garden centers. It's a slippery slope.

Many may have assumed it was only a prop for Goldeneye anyway. Filmed in Pierce Brosnan's back yard.

Response to Zorro (Reply #1)

Chainfire

(17,144 posts)
2. We couldn't do maintenance on a national scientific treasure
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 08:12 AM
Dec 2020

but we can afford to build walls. What happened at Arecibo is happening to our nation.

lastlib

(22,675 posts)
3. Damn! Sad beyond words!
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 08:12 AM
Dec 2020

WHY the fuck can't we support SCIENCE??!? We can spend HUNDREDS of BILLION$$ on ways to kill our fellow human beings, but we can't spend an occasional few hundred million on finding our place in the universe
--- --- --- ---

Submariner

(12,448 posts)
9. What an awful educational loss for children of PR
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 08:54 AM
Dec 2020

Almost every weekday school buses filled with kids from all over the island would visit, and get to use the real-time planetarium displays in the adjacent museum building.

Earlier this year SETI@Home discontinued signal analyses, much of the data came from the huge Arecibo dish reflections. Sad ending because the scientific community did not come to the rescue.

Arne

(1,927 posts)
20. Many years ago I was running Seti@home on a couple of desktops
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:36 AM
Dec 2020

It was mesmerizing to think WoW that must be them!
Turns out it was just cosmic noise.

I have to say that Contact is my favorite movie of all time.

electric_blue68

(14,300 posts)
38. : ( all around! The kids, local workers, scientists, human knowledge. I...
Wed Dec 2, 2020, 04:47 PM
Dec 2020

could have gone on a tour to see if (vacation) hadn't l been scared of riding up & down mountains (almost always been that way).

Contact - one of my favorite movies, too.

a la izquierda

(11,773 posts)
10. Two of my good friends have worked there.
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:06 AM
Dec 2020

They were devastated by the closure. I'm sure they're so upset today.

IronLionZion

(44,992 posts)
12. This is how GOP has been making America great again.
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:20 AM
Dec 2020

They'll cut funding for maintenance on things like this. Consequences be damned.

usaf-vet

(5,985 posts)
13. Who's watch was it when the telescope failed? One guess!
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 09:23 AM
Dec 2020

RIGHT! The failure president. Failure to help PR with repairs after the hurricane certainly attributed to the ultimate collapse. tRump breaks everything he touches.

electric_blue68

(14,300 posts)
40. Oh, geeeez, "Trump Years" are so l-o--n---g...
Wed Dec 2, 2020, 04:56 PM
Dec 2020

for a nano sec I was confused about which president but then your words, the video I saw on line of his tossing the effing paper towels, the photos of the people, the devastation in San Juan, and then hearing their stories from the cities to way out into the countryside all came rushing back.

I remember asking aquaintences about their families in PR.
Damn that selfish, ignorant, rascist bastard!

BumRushDaShow

(125,430 posts)
17. I maintain that Hurricane Maria basically finished it off structurally
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:09 AM
Dec 2020



TEXT

John Morales
@JohnMoralesNBC6
·
Dec 1, 2020
#BREAKING: The #AreciboObservatory has entirely collapsed!
😥


Here's my article published just before the news broke -- "Lament for Arecibo" -- in @BulletinAtomic
Hurricanes, earthquakes, and now this. A Puerto Rican scientist's lament for the loss of a legend...
The National Science Foundation has announced it will demolish an icon of science, and of Puerto Rico.
thebulletin.org

John Morales
@JohnMoralesNBC6
Via my colleague @DeborahTiempo here is the picture of the remaining support towers at #Arecibo this morning. It shows that the 900-ton suspended platform that held the receivers and transmitters has collapsed. Dust from the incident still floats in the air at the time of the pic
Image
7:51 AM · Dec 1, 2020


BumRushDaShow

(125,430 posts)
49. The San Juan Doppler Radar is continually maintained
Wed Dec 2, 2020, 09:06 PM
Dec 2020

and it was obliterated (took a 9 months to replace) -





Arecibo is about 40 miles due west from San Juan.



Path of Hurricane Maria (the eye didn't even go over San Juan) -



There was no way, even if it were maintained. It didn't have a chance.


Kashkakat v.2.0

(1,752 posts)
18. OMG. This is heartbreaking, for me because it really says who we are as
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 10:18 AM
Dec 2020

a people at this moment in time. I want to know what led to this, what budgets were cut just so some filthy rich a hole cronies could get another undeserved and unnecessary tax cut.

First Speaker

(4,858 posts)
25. The telescope was essentially the hero of James Gunn's novel, *The Listeners*...
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 11:48 AM
Dec 2020

...maybe the best book ever written on alien contact. It's worth looking up. Jesus--what a lousy thing to happen...

intrepidity

(7,180 posts)
27. I wonder if the missing obelisks are tied to this somehow?
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 12:02 PM
Dec 2020

No, not aliens, but a silent protest by someone here on earth?

Moostache

(9,895 posts)
28. Just another in a long line of degradations of American scientific prowess...
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 12:12 PM
Dec 2020

NASA has no currently viable or operating launch vehicles.
SETI is all but defunct and has no radio telescope to utilize at Arecibo.
FDA/CDC have been co-opted to political propaganda in service to an imbecile.

WHO membership was pulled and the USA dropped out.
Paris Accords were pulled out (though Biden has pledged to reverse these in his first 100 days...)

Science and rational thought are antithetical to "conservative thinking", at least as it has been narrowly redefined since Reagan - a constant dumbing down and least-common-denominator approach ever since the insane idea of "Star Wars Missile Defense" was first brought up back in the waning days of the Cold War. At least there was some strategic value to SDI in that it contributed to the USSR bankrupting itself to compete militarily against a vastly larger economy (something that our current leaders had better start understanding as the Chinese will very soon be in position to do the same to the USA).

A society that embraces basic research as a national emergency is one that can do anything - hell the entire space race and all that came from it was essentially Cold War propaganda in its reasoning, but the ancillary benefits and all the technology that it spawned also led to the current technological boom in no small measure too.

I cried the day that NASA shut down the shuttle not because the shuttle was a great financial boondoggle but because shutting it down without a replacement at the ready signaled an end to America's ambition and commitment to something beyond ourselves and beyond profits or money.

Today those same feelings are renewed.

paulkienitz

(1,292 posts)
30. Arecibo was our best tool for tracking near-Earth asteroids... which we need to do.
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 12:58 PM
Dec 2020

Arecibo was not just a telescope, but a radar dish. With radar we could accurately measure the distances to solar system objects, and get substantial information about their surfaces. Without those measurements, we cannot plot asteroidal orbits accurately enough to ascertain when there's a threat of collision.

We need to build a new radar facility. But this time, instead of a single giant dish we can make a hundred normal-sized ones working in tandem.

electric_blue68

(14,300 posts)
41. Arecibo wasn't the only one doing that, though?
Wed Dec 2, 2020, 05:16 PM
Dec 2020

Though for asteroid tracking - the more "eyes" the better, I'd hazard an educated guess!

paulkienitz

(1,292 posts)
52. We do have other radar trackers, but they have far less range.
Thu Dec 3, 2020, 02:25 PM
Dec 2020

The next best asteroidal radar has only like one fifteenth of the ability to pick up faint echoes. We either need another great big dish, or an array of dozens of medium sized ones that add up to as big an area. The latter is probably better because it would be able to steer over a wider part of the sky.

electric_blue68

(14,300 posts)
57. Oh, wow, that's way less! Wonder what will pick up the slack.
Thu Dec 3, 2020, 06:35 PM
Dec 2020

An array sounds better.

I wonder if with an array site they could even move some of the dishes at the edge of the array to figure out the shape better. 🤔

Love astronomy!

 

Baclava

(12,047 posts)
31. Time to build a better one... on the dark side of the moon. Space Force! Calling Moon Base Alpha
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 01:02 PM
Dec 2020

Get the high ground secured before the Chinese do...hop to it!

SeattleVet

(5,446 posts)
32. Final collapse may have been triggered by earthquake in Dominican Republic.
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 06:06 PM
Dec 2020

Timing of the propagated seismic wave matches the collapse time pretty closely.

Scott Manley has a good video, with some newer photos of the destruction.


BumRushDaShow

(125,430 posts)
34. Found a better pic to show an overhead shot of the collapse
Tue Dec 1, 2020, 06:43 PM
Dec 2020


I know I ran SETI@Home with a team for 20 years and most of the data came from that radio telescope. It will be sorely missed although it has pretty much been out of service for some time now.

And as another movie nod, it did appear in the movie "Contact" too.



littlemissmartypants

(22,069 posts)
35. This thing was awe inspiring. I am very glad that I got to see it in its hay day.
Wed Dec 2, 2020, 04:03 AM
Dec 2020

This is an enormous loss for the science community. I am heartbroken. We need a replacement for this as soon as possible.

littlemissmartypants

(22,069 posts)
43. I wish I could. I went years ago, way before cell phones.
Wed Dec 2, 2020, 07:36 PM
Dec 2020

I visited El Yunque National Forest, too. I only took slides, none of Arecibo, sadly. I haven't looked at them in years. Thanks for asking.

❤ lmsp

electric_blue68

(14,300 posts)
44. Ah, well. Cool about the Forest, too.
Wed Dec 2, 2020, 08:08 PM
Dec 2020

I was hoping to get to their botanical garden or something similar, but didn't.

I still had a wonderful time!
Sounds like you had a very good trip, too.

roamer65

(36,730 posts)
51. Less radio interference and more to observe from the Southern Hemisphere.
Thu Dec 3, 2020, 12:18 AM
Dec 2020

The good stuff in the sky is down under.

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