Slideshow ( 4 images )(Reuters) - The massive telescope at Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory that had been deteriorating since August collapsed on Tuesday, officials said, after 57 years of astronomical discoveries.
The radio telescope’s 900-ton instrument platform, suspended by cables 450 feet (137 meters) above a 1,000-foot-wide (305 meters) bowl-shaped reflector dish, fell on Tuesday morning, the U.S. National Science Foundation said.
Two cables supporting the reflector dish had broken since August, causing damage and forcing officials to close the observatory.
The NSF, which helped manage the telescope, said in November that efforts to repair the structure would be too dangerous and therefore it would have to be demolished.
“As we move forward, we will be looking for ways to assist the scientific community and maintain our strong relationship with the people of Puerto Rico.”
Puerto Rico’s Arecibo, U.S . National Science Foundation, NSF, Twitter
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