In August 1989, the observatory directly imaged an asteroid for the first time in history: 4769 Castalia, while between 2010 and 2011, American astronomers were able to detect the radio emissions from a T dwarf, which has methane absorption lines in its atmosphere. This was one of the four primary cables, each of which should have been capable of holding 544 tonnes - but "snapped under only" 283 tonnes, according to a report then by the Associated Press.
The famous Arecibo Observatory perched in the Puerto Rican hills faces imminent deconstruction amid safety fears over the crumbling structure. It was a core cable and it broke and fell on the reflective dish, damaging the nearby dish and other cables. Not long after, it was reported that a second cable had snapped, forcing the NSF to evaluate how to fix it.
The Arecibo Observatory space telescope, which was damaged in August and again in November from broken cables which tore holes in the structure, is seen in Arecibo, Puerto Rico November 7, 2020. Inspection of other cables found that some of the main cables had wire breaks and auxiliary cables were slipping from their sockets.More news: NCB raids comedian Bharti Singh and husband's flat in Mumbai
It concluded that the huge structure could not be repaired without posing a potentially deadly risk to construction workers.
In a statement, Sean Jones, assistant director of the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate at NSF said, "NSF has concluded that this recent damage to the 305-metre telescope can not be addressed without risking the lives and safety of work crews and staff. NSF has made a decision to begin the process of planning for a controlled decommissioning of the 305-meter telescope". "However, after receiving and reviewing the engineering assessments, we have found no path forward that would allow us to do so safely".
Once the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world, the Arecibo radio telescope has been in service for 57 years.More news: Mike Pompeo to meet Taliban, Afghan negotiators in Doha
"NSF prioritises the safety of workers, Arecibo Observatory's staff and visitors, which makes this decision necessary, although unfortunate", said NSF director Sethuraman Panchanathan. Considering these developments, officials give a strict warning that the entire structure could collapse.
The topic was also trending on Twitter with many people from the scientific community remembering their Association with the iconic telescope. Scientists across the globe even used the radio telescope to search for extraterrestrial life on many occasions.
Arecibo was also famed for a radio message sent into space in 1974 which carried basic information about our planets and the people that live it on. But it was soon being used as an all-purpose radio observatory. "There's an incredibly diverse and awesome group of scientists and dedicated staff and engineers at the observatory, and I mean, I think it is their passion to continue to explore, to learn, and that is the true heart and soul of Arecibo", she said.More news: Dallas to Acquire Josh Richardson in Exchange For Seth Curry