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Huge radio telescope in Puerto Rico to close in blow to science

The National Science Foundation says it will close the telescope at the renowned Arecibo...
The National Science Foundation says it will close the telescope at the renowned Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico in a blow to scientists worldwide.(University of Central Florida via NSF)
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 2:12 PM CST
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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - The National Science Foundation says it will close the telescope at the renowned Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico in a blow to scientists worldwide who depend on it to search for planets, asteroids and extraterrestrial life.

The independent, federally funded agency said Thursday that it’s too dangerous to keep operating one of the world’s largest single dish radio telescopes 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, a main cable snapped, causing further damage and leading officials to warn that the entire structure could collapse.

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