Intestinal images and videos documented the end of one of the world’s best-known binoculars.
The Arecibo Observatory of the National Science Foundation in Puerto Rico, known for its study of asteroids and aliens and its dazzle in the James Bond film, collapsed this morning (December 1). A 900-ton platform suspended over a radio antenna plunged 450 meters (140 meters) into the structure below at around 8 a.m. local time, causing massive damage documented on the Internet.
The images of the devastation are sad, although the situation was no surprise after the National Science Foundation announced days ago that it would have to shut down the observatory due to hurricane and cable damage at the famous observatory.
Connected: The radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has crashed
“We heard a loud voice, a loud bang in front of the control room. We started to see the possible collapse of the observatory,” said Ángel Vázquez, head of telescope operations and an Arecibo employee for four decades. in a video posted on Twitter.
Pointing to a large poster image of the cables holding Arecibo’s platform, Vázquez said those working at the observatory last week saw fibers coming down from the remaining three cables holding the platform on one side. The fibers were sure signs that the cables were causing more tension as they held less weight on the platform, he said.
“In the end, it just let go,” he said. The cables on the other side of the platform are still energized, he added, so the platform didn’t fall off suddenly, but it took about 30 seconds to slide into the radio antenna.
Connected: The loss of the Arecibo Observatory creates a scientific hole that cannot be filled
Ángel Vázquez explains the collapse of the Arecibo Observatory @SaveTheAO. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/7VCZNCFsA4December 1, 2020
The drone image taken after the crash shows that the crumpled cable towers lay on top of the vessel, scattered with tower pieces and other debris. Photographer Ricardo Arduengo, photographer Agence France-Presse, has published a number of images for Getty Images that show radio elements cleaved in the middle from the force of a fall.
“Engineers are on site. Top priorities are maintaining safety on site and assessing damage,” NSF said. he said on Twitterand a close-up detail showing the crease of the radio telescope.
“We knew it was an opportunity, but it’s still heartbreaking to see it,” said Elizabeth Klonoff, UCF’s vice president of research, in a statement from NSF. “Staff safety is our number one priority. We already have engineers on site to help assess damage and determine the stability and safety of the remaining structure. We will continue to work with NSF and other stakeholders to find ways to support science. Mission In Arecibo. “
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