Setting for “James Bond” film: radio telescope in Puerto Rico collapses

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© 1&1 Mail & Media/spot on news

Updated on December 2nd, 2020, 8:19 am

  • The Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico, known from the James Bond film “GoldenEye”, has collapsed.
  • The receiver device attached to steel cables above a huge parabolic mirror suddenly collapsed on Tuesday morning.
  • No people were injured in the collapse.

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That once world’s largest radio telescope in Puerto Rico has collapsed. Due to previous damage, it had already been planned to dismantle the telescope at the Arecibo observatory – it fell on Tuesday 900-ton instrument platform on the bowl below, as announced by the US National Science Foundation (NSF).

According to initial findings, the top parts of all three supporting towers have broken off. Besides the bowl, that too Learning center of the observatory was badly damaged by falling steel cables.

“We are sad about this situation, but thankful that no one was hurt“said NSF director Sethuraman Panchanathan. Even if the telescope was lost, it was now the case remaining parts of the plant put back into operation.

Experts only warned of the danger of collapse in November 2020

It was not until November 19 that the NSF announced that, according to experts, a catastrophic failure of the structure of the telescope threaten. His cables may no longer be able to carry the loads intended for them. Repairs are not possible in a safe way; therefore preparations would be made to disassemble the telescope.

In August it was a round 7.5 centimeter thick steel cable, which supported a metal platform, cracked for unknown reasons. As it fell, it had cracked the telescope’s reflector bowl about 30 meters long, and that too Dome and a platform damaged.

In addition, there was damage caused by the Hurricane Maria 2017 at the observatory. The telescope should be repaired. Then on November 6, a main cable tore, according to NSF.

The radio telescope in the US suburb of Puerto Rico was with us until 2016, when an even larger one went into operation in China 305 meters in diameter the largest in the world. It was one too popular tourist attraction – especially after it in that 1995 “James Bond” film “GoldenEye” served as a backdrop.

The telescope was commissioned in 1963 and was ultimately still one of the most sensitive in the world. In 1974 the US astronomers Russell Hulse and Joseph Taylor discovered the with him Double pulsar PSR 1913 + 16 – two orbiting neutron stars – and thus indirectly observed gravitational waves. Collect radio telescopes Radio waves from spacethat will be converted into images. (AFP / dpa / lag)

For years, researchers have puzzled over the origin of so-called “fast radio burst” – radio flashes are a mysterious phenomenon. Now astronomers in the Milky Way have found an answer.

Teaserbild: © Yamil Rodriguez/Aereomed/AP/dpa



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