Once known as the world’s first telescope, after many repairs, I decided to dismantle it!

Once known as the world’s first telescope, after many maintenance struggles, it was decided to dismantle it!


Any powerful thing will fall one day. With the construction of the Chinese sky eye radio telescope, the Arecibo telescope, once known as the world’s first, is slowly falling. On Thursday, the American Science Foundation suddenly announced the closure of the Arecibo radio telescope. It has been repaired many times before, and this place, which carries the dreams of many scientists, will eventually be demolished.


Arecibo telescope


In the 1860s, human beings began to understand and contact the universe. Microwave background radiation, pulse type quasars and so on were discovered at that time. When the Arecibo radio telescope was built, its aperture was 305 meters. Two great discoveries in history also won physicists the Nobel Prize in physics.


In 1974, two professors from Princeton University discovered a double pulsar through a telescope and verified the existence of gravitational waves. In 1993, the two professors won the Nobel Prize in physics. In 1991, astronomers discovered the existence of exoplanets using pulsars. These two major discoveries are of great significance to Arecibo.


It was decided to dismantle after many repairs


Apart from collecting some data, Arecibo is also a radar, which can know the specific data and situation of a planet through electromagnetic waves. Arecibo was used to discover the existence of water resources in the north pole of mercury, which was later confirmed by the launch of the probe. So why did the American Science Foundation decide to dismantle such a powerful radio telescope?


Starting from May 23, 2016, when Arecibo was not so deserted, the American Science Foundation suddenly issued such a statement that they decided to demolish it because it caused certain damage to the local environment. Due to the long construction time, the maintenance cost of the foundation of 12 million US dollars has already been stretched, and its maintenance is only the beginning.


After such a statement, it was not really demolished. In 2017, due to the arrival of the hurricane, the reflector on the main surface of Arecibo was damaged. Faced with the shortage of maintenance funds, the US foundation did not decide to repair it at that time. After receiving a donation of US $2 million, it decided to continue to open Arecibo after it was repaired in April 2018.


Until August of this year, there was a sudden crack on Arecibo’s mirror, about 30 meters long and more than 10 meters wide. It was very difficult to repair such a large area of mirror damage, and the reason for the broken steel cable could not be interpreted. By November of this year, the cable of the telescope broke again, two times in a row. I don’t know how much pressure the remaining cable can bear, and it is likely to collapse in an instant. From 1963 to 2020, Arecibo, which has been running for 53 years, has come to the end of his life. What do you think of the dismantling of the Arecibo telescope, once known as the first in the world?

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