Astronomers are still reeling from the loss of iconic Arecibo radio telescope

The collapse of the iconic radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico last month has left astronomers with a host of questions about what went wrong and what comes next. During a virtual town hall event held at the 237th conference of the American Astronomical Society on Monday (Jan. 11), officials at the […]

The Arecibo Observatory collapsed this week. What now?

Arecibo’s disk suffered damage in November, before the suspended receiver collapsed completely in December. (University of Central Florida/) On December 1, a crucial cable snapped at the iconic Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. After 57 years catching radio waves from around the cosmos, the 900-ton receiver fell through the air to the ground below, slashing […]

Why losing Arecibo is a big deal for astronomy

Edgard Rivera-Valentín first visited the Arecibo Observatory as a little kid. “I definitely remember this feeling of just being awestruck,” Rivera-Valentín says. “Looking at this gigantic telescope … getting to hear about all this neat work that was being done … it definitely leaves an impression.” Important science was happening right in the backyard of […]

These photos of the Arecibo Observatory telescope collapse are just heartbreaking

Gut-wrenching pictures and video documented the beginning of the end for one of the world’s most iconic telescopes.  The National Science Foundation’s Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, known for its studies of asteroids and aliens and for its cameo in a James Bond film, collapsed this morning (Dec. 1). The 900-ton platform that hung above […]

Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory ‘not closing’ after collapse

The instrument platform of the Arecibo Observatory telescope falls through the air after cables broke Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory could still have a future after its vast telescope dramatically collapsed this week, US officials said Thursday. The structure was destroyed on Tuesday when its 900-ton receiver platform, which was suspended 450 feet (140 meters) in […]

Drone catches Arecibo Observatory’s last moments

The exact moment of Arecibo Observatory’s final collapse — when the cables supporting its instrument platform broke — was caught on video by a drone doing a routine inspection flyby, according to a new video released by the observatory Thursday (Dec. 3).  The footage, taken just before 8 a.m. local time in Puerto Rico on […]

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 […]

Arecibo radio telescope, damaged beyond repair, seen from space

Satellites spotted gashes in the damaged Arecibo Observatory, which is set to be decommissioned by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). The 57-year-old radio telescope has sustained two cable failures which has made its massive dish too unstable to safely repair, according to the NSF. The cable failures have also damaged the massive dish, which spans […]

Losing Arecibo Observatory would create a hole that can’t be filled, scientists say

Editor’s note: The National Science Foundation will decommission Arecibo’s radio telescope, the agency announced on Nov. 19. Read the full story here. Arecibo Observatory is facing a mid-life crisis — or something much worse. In one possible future, the facility’s managers work quickly enough to stabilize a massive structure hanging by not-quite-enough-threads and give the […]

Arecibo radio telescope, an icon of astronomy, is lost

The National Science Foundation (NSF) will decommission Arecibo Observatory‘s massive radio dish after damage has made the facility too dangerous to repair, the agency announced today (Nov. 19). The announcement came as scientists awaited a verdict about the fate of the iconic observatory after damage to the complex cabling supporting a 900-ton science platform suspended […]