Broken Arecibo telescope collapses, ending an era of alien-hunting

A broken cable was the final straw for the already badly damaged Arecibo Observatory’s radio telescope in Puerto Rico. The massive structure’s 900-ton instrument platform collapsed on Tuesday (Dec. 1) and landed on the 1,000-foot-wide (305 meters) radio dish.

The cable parted at around 8 a.m. local time, Ramon Lugo, director of the Florida Space Institute (FSI) at the University of Central Florida, told Science magazine. The FSI manages the telescope, which is owned by the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

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