Arecibo Observatory collapses completely at height of asteroid close flybys

Arecibo Observatory is down for the count, reports say

Randal Schwartz/Flickr

The Arecibo Observatory collapsed completely on Tuesday after the already damaged 900-ton receiver platform collapsed onto the dish itself causing irreparable damage.

This comes as asteroid close passes have been at a record-setting all-time high in frequency and proximity.

A cable snapped on the telescope back in September which could have led to the accident but it is also important to point out that the facility was in the middle of tracking a near-Earth Earthbound object at the time the cable snapped.

The collapse came at 7:36 p.m. and is virtually unexplainable due to the fact that massive cables support the array.


The cost of a new telescope is somewhere around $350 million and would take quite some time to build if approved.

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