A large radio telescope in Puerto Rico played a key role in astronomical discoveries Tuesday, officials said. The, Is popular as the backdrop for a major show in “Golden Eye” and other Hollywood hits closed after a sub cable was broken and shut down since August On the reflection dish.
A major cable broke in early November, and the National Science Foundation announced plans to shut down the radio telescope a few weeks later because the damage was so severe.
Many scientists and Puerto Ricans mourned the news, some tearing up during interviews. Puerto Rico-based meteorologist Deborah Marterell tweeted early Tuesday morning: “Friends, it is with deep sadness that I inform you that the Arecibo monitoring site has now collapsed.”
It was the world’s second largest radio telescope and had been in operation for more than half a century.
Powered by the National Science Foundation through the University of Central Florida, the iconic lab is made up of a fixed dish antenna 1,000 feet wide, which is built on a bowl-like depression 450 feet above the radio from three support towers suspended from three support towers.
For 57 years, the laboratory has played a key role in observing the composition and behavior of the Earth’s upper atmosphere using deep space targets, bodies in the solar system, and powerful light rays.
Prior to its collapse, the laboratory had withstood hurricanes and earthquakes and played central roles in films such as “Golden Eye” and “Contact”.
Bill Harwood contributed to this report.
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