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Thu Nov 19, 2020, 02:55 PM

Arecibo is getting decommissioned

NSF begins planning for decommissioning of Arecibo Observatory’s 305-meter telescope due to safety concerns.

https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=301674#.X7afajgoo88.twitter

Following a review of engineering assessments that found damage to the Arecibo Observatory cannot be stabilized without risk to construction workers and staff at the facility, the U.S. National Science Foundation will begin plans to decommission the 305-meter telescope, which for 57 years has served as a world-class resource for radio astronomy, planetary, solar system and geospace research.

The decision comes after NSF evaluated multiple assessments by independent engineering companies that found the telescope structure is in danger of a catastrophic failure and its cables may no longer be capable of carrying the loads they were designed to support. Furthermore, several assessments stated that any attempts at repairs could put workers in potentially life-threatening danger. Even in the event of repairs going forward, engineers found that the structure would likely present long-term stability issues.

Well that sucks. Thanks again 2020.

Maybe we could seriously consider building a radio telescope on the far side of the moon now?

12 replies, 1101 views

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Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Arecibo is getting decommissioned (Original post)
CloudWatcher Nov 2020 OP
nykym Nov 2020 #1
wcmagumba Nov 2020 #2
C_U_L8R Nov 2020 #6
wcmagumba Nov 2020 #7
Mersky Nov 2020 #3
BootinUp Nov 2020 #4
Sneederbunk Nov 2020 #5
hunter Nov 2020 #8
eppur_se_muova Nov 2020 #9
CloudWatcher Nov 2020 #11
Javaman Nov 2020 #10
CloudWatcher Nov 2020 #12

Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Thu Nov 19, 2020, 03:00 PM

1. What is

Mulder going to do now?

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Response to nykym (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 19, 2020, 03:03 PM

2. and Jody Foster too...

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Response to wcmagumba (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 19, 2020, 03:28 PM

6. Where's S.R. Hadden now?

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Response to C_U_L8R (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 19, 2020, 03:33 PM

7. I hear he hitched a ride in Musk's Tesla which current estimates place somewhere beyond Mars.

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Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Thu Nov 19, 2020, 03:06 PM

3. Ah heck, that just sucks

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Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Thu Nov 19, 2020, 03:14 PM

4. 57 years though. Nt

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Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Thu Nov 19, 2020, 03:15 PM

5. Remember reading about its construction in grade school.

It was a big deal.

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Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Thu Nov 19, 2020, 08:24 PM

8. Maybe we could get Mexico to pay for it.



I don't like 2020 U.S.A..

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Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 10:15 AM

9. How much of this is really engineering issues, and how much don't *want* to pay for it ??

Under this maladministration, we have to suspect this is the consequence of the relentless rejection of science -- including starvation funding.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #9)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 02:39 PM

11. Trump vs. science and Puerto Rico

I was certainly prepared to flame Trump about this, but then this line caught my eye:

Based on the stresses on the second broken cable -- which should have been well within its ability to function without breaking -- engineers concluded that the remaining cables are likely weaker than originally projected.

So the bottom line is that they don't know how bad it is, can't properly model what they've got, and can't even find out without putting people's lives at risk. Just taking it apart (before it collapses on its own) will be a challenge.

If there was more time, perhaps robots could be used and better models could be developed, but it sounds like everyone is spooked because the engineering models don't match reality.

It would be nice if they could tear it down and replace it there, but I don't know how much sense that makes from a science perspective.

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Response to CloudWatcher (Original post)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 01:09 PM

10. I truly hope we are entering into a new age of big ideas with Biden.

the loss of the radio telescope really saddens me.

I hope a replacement or as someone else suggested in this threat a RT on the moon.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 20, 2020, 03:39 PM

12. Radio telescope on the far side

A radio telescope on the far side of the moon makes enormous sense because the moon would block almost all of the man-made radio signals that pollute observations from Earth-based telescopes.

And now that everyone and their cousins are putting up hundreds of communications satellites in low-earth orbit (for internet access from anywhere), the situation is going from bad to ridiculous.

From https://astrobites.org/2020/09/25/leosats/

Across the next decade, numerous private industry companies (including SpaceX, Kuiper Systems by Amazon, Samsung, and Boeing) each plan to launch between several hundred and several thousand satellites into “low Earth orbits” (LEO).


And if that wasn't enough reason, a radio telescope on the moon (or in space) would also allow observations at frequencies below 30MHz ... which are reflected by the Earth's ionosphere, essentially blocking ground-based scopes from working.

A couple links ...

https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2020_Phase_I_Phase_II/lunar_crater_radio_telescope/

https://bgr.com/2020/04/09/moon-crater-telescope-nasa-concept/



I think sending people to Mars is nuts (because of the radiation problems), but building a scope on moon is a great idea

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