The world's largest radio telescope collapsed due to an accident of unknown cause and stopped operating
Broken Cable Damages Arecibo Observatory | University of Central Florida News
Arecibo radio telescope goes dark after snapped cable shreds dish | Science | AAAS
The Arecibo Observatory, built in 1963, was known as the world's largest radio telescope by itself until the completion of the ' FAST ' radio telescope with a diameter of 500 m in China in 2016. The radio signal ' Arecibo Message ' that human beings first transmitted to intelligent life outside the solar system is sent from the radio telescope of the Arecibo Observatory to the Hercules constellation M13 .
The Arecibo Observatory has been operating as the 'National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center' for more than 40 years with the support of the
Furthermore, in 2017, the budget was cut to 2 million dollars (about 210 million yen), and it was feared that the hurricane would hit the area directly. After that, the restored Arecibo Observatory was taken over by three groups including the University of Central Florida in 2018, and is still operating as a radio telescope in 2020.
The Arecibo Observatory is also famous for being used in filming sites such as the movie “ 007 Golden Eye ” and the drama “ X-File ”. The following is a scene where James Bond fights a single enemy with the enemy in the movie '007 Golden Eye', and Arecibo Observatory is selected as the location.
GOLDENEYE | Bond vs Trevelyan-YouTube
It will also appear as a stage in the popular shooting game ' Battlefield 4 '.
Battlefield 4 Playstation 4 Gameplay-Rogue Transmission-YouTube
According to the University of Central Florida, which manages the Arecibo Observatory, the accident occurred on August 10, 2020 at 2:45 am (local time). The steel auxiliary cable that supports the metal frame of the secondary mirror of the radio telescope broke, and it collided with the reflecting surface of the primary mirror, which had a diameter of 305 meters. As a result, there was a crack of about 30 meters on the reflective surface. Also, part of the metal frame of the secondary mirror was also twisted.
The radio telescope has a mechanism to receive the radio waves reflected by the primary mirror with the secondary mirror, so if the reflecting surface collapses or the frame is twisted, it will not be able to function as a radio telescope. As a result, the Arecibo Observatory had to be shut down. In addition, it seems that the cause of the auxiliary cable being cut is unknown at the time of article creation.
``We are waiting for a team of experts to assess the situation. We just want to keep our staff safe, protect our facilities and equipment, and make our facilities as soon as possible,'' said Francisco Cordoba, director of Arecibo Observatory. We just want to get it back to full capacity and we can contribute to scientists all over the world.'