Damaged Radio Telescope Collapses


The giant hurricane-damaged radio telescope in Puerto Rico collapsed late Monday.

The Arecibo Observatory is managed by the National Science Foundation and the University of Central Florida.

Recent hurricanes did significant damage to the telescope that's more than 50 years old and at least two main support cables had given-way in recent weeks.

For more than half a century the Arecibo Observatory has been an important tool for astronomers studying pulsars, quasars, and near Earth objects. It has even been used in the search for intelligent life in the universe.

Photos posted this morning on Twitter show that the radio telescope collapsed into its dish. There were no injuries.

The observatory is best known in pop culture for its use in movies like "Contact" and the James Bond movie "Goldeneye."

The NSF recently decided that the observatory was too storm-damaged to save. Engineers are assessing the status of the structure and deciding how to move forward to complete the demolition.

Image courtesy Getty