A large radio telescope in Puerto Rico played a key role in astronomical discoveries on Tuesday, officials said. The, Published as the background to an important scene in The movie “Golden Eye” and other Hollywood hits have been shutting down a support cable since August. In the reflector dish.
Weeks later, the National Science Foundation announced that it planned to shut down the radio telescope because a major cable had broken in early November and the damage was so great.
Many scientists and Puerto Ricans lamented the news, some tearing up during interviews. Puerto Rico meteorologist Deborah Martorel tweeted Tuesday morning: “Friends, we are very sorry to inform you that the Arecibo Observatory platform has crashed.”
It is the second largest radio telescope in the world. It has been in operation for more than half a century.
The Iconic Observatory was built using a 1,000-foot-wide dish antenna operated by the National Science Foundation through the University of Central Florida. Built into a vessel-like depression, it is suspended from a 900-ton instrument platform that reflects radio waves from space 450 feet above the ground using cables from three support towers.
For 57 years, the Observatory has played an important role in observing deep space targets, objects in the solar system, and the structure and nature of the Earth’s atmosphere using powerful lasers.
Prior to its collapse, the Observatory faced hurricanes and earthquakes, and played a major role in films such as “Golden Eye” and “Contact”.
Bill Harwood contributed to this report.
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