Sad Update, In Our Night-Sky Studies: Arecibo Is Offline. Damaged. We Re-Run One — On The Chinese Successor To It — From A Few Septembers Ago.

This is particularly tough news — given that significant new funds were needed, just to keep it running, before the accident. NPR reports that it is uncertain when — or whether — the repairs will get underway. Thus:

“. . .A broken cable at Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory has torn a gaping 100-foot hole in the dish of one of the largest radio telescopes in the world, taking the instrument offline until repairs can be made.

Arecibo’s massive reflector dish, which is built inside a sinkhole in northern Puerto Rico, was damaged when a 3-inch diameter support cable unexpectedly snapped before dawn on Monday, according to the University of Central Florida, which manages the observatory. . . .”

This may well mean that the below dish, on the opposite side of the planet, becomes the default world standard source — as rebuilding will be daunting now, on the island of Puerto Rico. Sad — but true. See below.

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My prior post may be viewed, here.

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