April 22, 2021

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Failure at the Arecibo Observatory


The Central Florida University institution that administers the Arecibo Observatory reported a failure in the radio telescope that will keep it inoperative for the time being.

Recent finding since the observatory

According to the university, one of the auxiliary cables that helps to support a metal platform over the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, broke yesterday, Monday, at around 2:45 am, causing a cut of 100 feet long on the reflector plate of the telescope.

It was also indicated that when the three-inch cable fell, it also damaged about 6 to 8 panels on the Gregorian Dome and twisted the platform used to access the dome. [19659007] Operations at the UCF-run observatory are halted until repairs can be made, it was reported. It was not specified how long it would last, what caused the break, or the cost to achieve the repairs.

"We have a team of experts who assesses the situation," says Francisco Córdova, director of the observatory.

UCF administers the installation of NSF under a cooperation agreement with the Universidad Ana G. Méndez and Yang Enterprises Inc.

From Arecibo there is a program supported by a grant from NASA to observe and characterize the near-Earth objects they represent a potential danger or that could be candidates for future space missions.

The observatory houses one of the most sensitive planetary radar systems in the world, which means that it is also a unique tool available to analyze near-Earth objects, like so theroids and comets.

Arecibo has played a role in the analysis of near-Earth objects for decades observing up to 130 objects per year.



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