The National Science Foundation announced Thursday that it will close the huge telescope at the renowned Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico in a blow to the University of Central Florida, which manages the site, and scientists worldwide who depend on it to search for planets, asteroids and extraterrestrial life.
The independent, federally funded agency said it’s too dangerous to keep operating the single dish radio telescope — one of the world’s largest — given the significant damage it recently sustained. An auxiliary cable broke in August and tore a 100-foot hole in the reflector dish and damaged the dome above it. Then on Nov. 6, one of the telescope’s main steel cables snapped, leading officials to warn that the entire structure could collapse. Read more here.