After Arecibo, NASA doesn’t know what’s next for planetary radar

The Arecibo Observatory is huge the radio telescope collapsed; it has thus proved to be a key tool in understanding the risks of asteroids on Earth – and a serious government initiative would be needed to address this.

Before the facility suffered irreversible damage in a series of cable failures this year, Arecibo Observatory it was the most powerful planetary radar system on Earth. Astronomers may not use radar to discover new asteroids, but the data provided by these systems can give scientists details of the size, shape, and location of the object they need to better and faster assess the threat posed to Earth by each asteroid.