One of the largest telescopes in the whole world has just been destroyed after a broken cable has torn a sizeable 100-foot hole at the Puerto Rico Rico’s Arecibo Observatory. The entire instrument was taken offline, and using it again will only be possible after repairs are made. The cable that fell unexpectedly was 3-inch in diameter. The University of Central Florida reported that the event occurred on Monday.
All of the pictures taken at the Arecibo Observatory display that numerous twisted panels, which are part of the 1,000-foot dish, are left hanging from the structure and even lying on the ground. It happened when the cable fell, which caused the damage of several panels of the Gregorian Dome, which is installed above the dish, being a pivotal component to intercept signals from outer space.
The director of the observatory, Francisco Cordova, has declared that a team of experts is currently assessing the impact of this situation. Their main concern is to make sure that the observatory’s repairs are handled with care and that all the facilities are protected, in order to get back to work to full operations as soon as possible.
Up until now, there has been no explanation given as to what caused the cable to fell, and the owners are still not sure about how much time will the repairs take. In addition to this, the directors are planning on making several tests for all the other cables, intending to make sure that this event will not happen again in the near future.
The importance of the Arecibo Observatory is crucial to scientists. Since 1963, the observatory has been a helping hand when it comes to detecting new planets outside our solar system, as well as during the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence study. Until 2016 it has been the world’s biggest radio telescope when a Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope was launched in China.