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Arecibo Radio Telescope Has Collapsed

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Xmara
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Postby Xmara » Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:30 pm

La Paz de Los Ricos wrote:It's official. The old girl will be decommissioned and subsequently demolished after it has been deemed too risky for workers to try and repair the damage.

From the NSF (website): https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=301674

From the NSF (Twitter announcement): https://twitter.com/NSF/status/13294626 ... gr%5Etweet

From Space.com: https://www.space.com/arecibo-observato ... -destroyed

When I made the Arecibo damage thread back in August, initially the damage caused to the dish by the wire seemed to have been fixable. Now, it appears that damage from María and the recent earthquakes has led to the decision being called for the telescope's demolition. The visitor center, to my knowledge, will remain standing, but the dish itself, and the support towers, must come down.

RIP Arecibo :(
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Postby Feyrisshire » Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:32 pm

I'm disappointed that the title wasn't "Arecibo Radio Telescope on Verge of Contacting Aliens"
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Postby Nanatsu no Tsuki » Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:32 pm

Xmara wrote:
La Paz de Los Ricos wrote:It's official. The old girl will be decommissioned and subsequently demolished after it has been deemed too risky for workers to try and repair the damage.

From the NSF (website): https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=301674

From the NSF (Twitter announcement): https://twitter.com/NSF/status/13294626 ... gr%5Etweet

From Space.com: https://www.space.com/arecibo-observato ... -destroyed

When I made the Arecibo damage thread back in August, initially the damage caused to the dish by the wire seemed to have been fixable. Now, it appears that damage from María and the recent earthquakes has led to the decision being called for the telescope's demolition. The visitor center, to my knowledge, will remain standing, but the dish itself, and the support towers, must come down.

RIP Arecibo :(


It’s years of neglect, budget cuts, hurricanes and earthquakes. And the government in PR has a tendency to let such resources go to waste. It’s very sad but perhaps it’s also that the observatory has reached the end of it’s useful life.
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Postby Xmara » Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:34 pm

Feyrisshire wrote:I'm disappointed that the title wasn't "Arecibo Radio Telescope on Verge of Contacting Aliens"

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Postby Heloin » Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:22 pm

Nanatsu no Tsuki wrote:
Xmara wrote:RIP Arecibo :(


It’s years of neglect, budget cuts, hurricanes and earthquakes. And the government in PR has a tendency to let such resources go to waste. It’s very sad but perhaps it’s also that the observatory has reached the end of it’s useful life.

The greater tragedy of Arecibo is that it's still well within it's useful lifespan, but that there is no way without essentially rebuilding the whole thing to keep it operational.
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Postby Nanatsu no Tsuki » Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:25 pm

Heloin wrote:
Nanatsu no Tsuki wrote:
It’s years of neglect, budget cuts, hurricanes and earthquakes. And the government in PR has a tendency to let such resources go to waste. It’s very sad but perhaps it’s also that the observatory has reached the end of it’s useful life.

The greater tragedy of Arecibo is that it's still well within it's useful lifespan, but that there is no way without essentially rebuilding the whole thing to keep it operational.


I said earlier that no one should count on the local government to do a thing with it. It won’t. I’m certain it has itself contributed to its demise. If you have any hope of rebuilding, and that’s a big if, either an astronomy association with monetary power or a wealthy university should get it. Otherwise, it’s over for the observatory.
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:22 pm

Heloin wrote:
Nanatsu no Tsuki wrote:
It’s years of neglect, budget cuts, hurricanes and earthquakes. And the government in PR has a tendency to let such resources go to waste. It’s very sad but perhaps it’s also that the observatory has reached the end of it’s useful life.

The greater tragedy of Arecibo is that it's still well within it's useful lifespan, but that there is no way without essentially rebuilding the whole thing to keep it operational.


The Chinese have built one just like it, but bigger. Bigger is generally better when it comes to telescopes.

The only way to stay ahead -- or even on par -- would be to rebuild Arecibo BIGGER.
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Postby Heloin » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:11 pm

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
Heloin wrote:The greater tragedy of Arecibo is that it's still well within it's useful lifespan, but that there is no way without essentially rebuilding the whole thing to keep it operational.


The Chinese have built one just like it, but bigger. Bigger is generally better when it comes to telescopes.

The only way to stay ahead -- or even on par -- would be to rebuild Arecibo BIGGER.

I mean technically yes, but practically no. If you can build a big radio telescope that's all well and good, but building a whole new Arecibo but bigger isn't as useful as just having one is. This is an argument with the benefit of hindsight and there's nothing that can be done anymore for Arecibo but the better option would have always been to maintain it and maintain it well.

And to answer Nana's point I don't think Arecibo should have ever been the local governments problem, a organisation with the money or the federal government should have taken charge of the telescope years ago, that never happened and now the world is going to loss something deeply important to the astronomical field.
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Postby Nanatsu no Tsuki » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:19 pm

Heloin wrote:
Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
The Chinese have built one just like it, but bigger. Bigger is generally better when it comes to telescopes.

The only way to stay ahead -- or even on par -- would be to rebuild Arecibo BIGGER.

I mean technically yes, but practically no. If you can build a big radio telescope that's all well and good, but building a whole new Arecibo but bigger isn't as useful as just having one is. This is an argument with the benefit of hindsight and there's nothing that can be done anymore for Arecibo but the better option would have always been to maintain it and maintain it well.

And to answer Nana's point I don't think Arecibo should have ever been the local governments problem, a organisation with the money or the federal government should have taken charge of the telescope years ago, that never happened and now the world is going to loss something deeply important to the astronomical field.


The minute they allowed to be under the Ana G. Méndez college system, and government oversight, the observatory was doomed. Sadly this is very common in PR. What I don’t get is why the University of Central FL, which has it or had it under jurisdiction too, didn’t do anything for it. Or NSF.
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Postby The Two Jerseys » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:29 pm

Nanatsu no Tsuki wrote:
Heloin wrote:I mean technically yes, but practically no. If you can build a big radio telescope that's all well and good, but building a whole new Arecibo but bigger isn't as useful as just having one is. This is an argument with the benefit of hindsight and there's nothing that can be done anymore for Arecibo but the better option would have always been to maintain it and maintain it well.

And to answer Nana's point I don't think Arecibo should have ever been the local governments problem, a organisation with the money or the federal government should have taken charge of the telescope years ago, that never happened and now the world is going to loss something deeply important to the astronomical field.


The minute they allowed to be under the Ana G. Méndez college system, and government oversight, the observatory was doomed. Sadly this is very common in PR. What I don’t get is why the University of Central FL, which has it or had it under jurisdiction too, didn’t do anything for it. Or NSF.

NSF has been trying to reduce funding to Arecibo for the past 15 years.

As for UCF, I think they just weren't up to the task of managing it.
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Postby Greed and Death » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:33 pm

Feyrisshire wrote:I'm disappointed that the title wasn't "Arecibo Radio Telescope on Verge of Contacting Aliens"


Maybe that's why they are tearing it down to cover up the fact they found aliens.
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Postby Greed and Death » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:37 pm

The Two Jerseys wrote:
Nanatsu no Tsuki wrote:
The minute they allowed to be under the Ana G. Méndez college system, and government oversight, the observatory was doomed. Sadly this is very common in PR. What I don’t get is why the University of Central FL, which has it or had it under jurisdiction too, didn’t do anything for it. Or NSF.

NSF has been trying to reduce funding to Arecibo for the past 15 years.

As for UCF, I think they just weren't up to the task of managing it.


It was really dated you get far better results for far less money with Arrays of radio telescopes
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:47 pm

Heloin wrote:
Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
The Chinese have built one just like it, but bigger. Bigger is generally better when it comes to telescopes.

The only way to stay ahead -- or even on par -- would be to rebuild Arecibo BIGGER.

I mean technically yes, but practically no.


Technically and practically are the same thing, in scientific instruments!

Arecibo and FAST (in China) will be almost completely obsolete when the Square Kilometre Array is built. The SKA will relegate every radio telescope on Earth, not to 2nd but to 3rd tier, particularly since it will gather so much data that multiple observations can be made at the same time. Such a big telescope will be able to radio-resolve much smaller celestial objects, it's effectively the astronomy version of the Large Hadron Collider: all the money which would have gone into smaller projects, being put into one project, makes competition futile.

IF it is actually built. As an Australian and also seeing foreign investment into South Africa as being good, my national interest is in seeing as many working radio telescopes bite the dust as possible. The SKA is at least ten years off, and you know how mega-projects tend to run over-budget, over-schedule, or both.

I think there would still be some contribution from smaller telescopes, in conjunction with SKA to even further widen the base, but also being in the Northern Hemisphere, helping to cover all the sky. Arecibo wasn't particularly good at that though, barely being able to see the zenith and no further North than 38 degrees.

If you can build a big radio telescope that's all well and good, but building a whole new Arecibo but bigger isn't as useful as just having one is. This is an argument with the benefit of hindsight and there's nothing that can be done anymore for Arecibo but the better option would have always been to maintain it and maintain it well.


The choices being framed as Restore or Dismantle has sadly led to the latter. You really have no choice now, but to think Bigger.
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:53 pm

Greed and Death wrote:
The Two Jerseys wrote:NSF has been trying to reduce funding to Arecibo for the past 15 years.

As for UCF, I think they just weren't up to the task of managing it.


It was really dated you get far better results for far less money with Arrays of radio telescopes


Actually just aerials do a good job. For some particular frequencies I can't name off the top of my head. But the idea is to digitize and time-stamp the signal at each aerial, then collect it (Ethernet would do, I'd find that gratifying as I've always been a fan, but they might also use optical cable). The data processing side looks like the most expensive part, but maybe new technology will actually make it easy.
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Fri Nov 20, 2020 10:33 pm

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
Heloin wrote:The greater tragedy of Arecibo is that it's still well within it's useful lifespan, but that there is no way without essentially rebuilding the whole thing to keep it operational.


The Chinese have built one just kinda like it, but bigger.

See Wakipedia. Significantly, Arecibo had a powerful transmitter, which is a big help in finding and studying NEOs.
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:46 am

Northwest Slobovia wrote:
Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
The Chinese have built one just kinda like it, but bigger.

See Wakipedia. Significantly, Arecibo had a powerful transmitter, which is a big help in finding and studying NEOs.


Hmm. Finding and tracking NEO's is pretty important. Is there anything stopping FAST from adding that later?
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Postby Nobel Hobos 2 » Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:00 am

Feyrisshire wrote:I'm disappointed that the title wasn't "Arecibo Radio Telescope on Verge of Contacting Aliens"


In a METI sense, we have contacted aliens. It was a silly business, only rendered less-than reckless by the Andromeda galaxy being over 2 million light years away. If we can't cope with galaxy-hopping aliens offended at being shown naughty pictures ... millions of years from now ... then we won't ever be ready.

However, suppose some more local aliens picked up the powerful radar signals we sent from Arecibo. Having much better telescopes than we do, they'd see a shiny dish in the mountains and conclude they were being invited to come and land on it.

Then they get most of the way here, and we demolish the dish :( That's not very friendly, is it?
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Postby Nakena » Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:02 am

La Paz de Los Ricos wrote:It's official. The old girl will be decommissioned and subsequently demolished after it has been deemed too risky for workers to try and repair the damage.

From the NSF (website): https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=301674

From the NSF (Twitter announcement): https://twitter.com/NSF/status/13294626 ... gr%5Etweet

From Space.com: https://www.space.com/arecibo-observato ... -destroyed

When I made the Arecibo damage thread back in August, initially the damage caused to the dish by the wire seemed to have been fixable. Now, it appears that damage from María and the recent earthquakes has led to the decision being called for the telescope's demolition. The visitor center, to my knowledge, will remain standing, but the dish itself, and the support towers, must come down.


That is very unfortunate but honestly I am not surprised.

One can only hope that it is to be rebuild with newer and better materials.

Even if you look at the GoldenEye movie from 1996 you can already see how dated the installation was back then. 25 years ago. Very heavy elements and lots of rust.
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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:16 pm

Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
Northwest Slobovia wrote:See Wakipedia. Significantly, Arecibo had a powerful transmitter, which is a big help in finding and studying NEOs.


Hmm. Finding and tracking NEO's is pretty important. Is there anything stopping FAST from adding that later?

As I understand it, the receiver "cab" -- the movable part on cables -- isn't nearly large enough for adding transmitters, and the cables and supporting stuff isn't strong enough to bear a transmitter's weight.

There's also the point either Wakipedia or another site I looked at raised: Arecibo worked at higher frequencies, both transmit and receive, which let it study more kinds of things, and provided higher resolution images of NEOs. Changing that would apparently require a fundamental redesign of FAST, though I don't recall the details.
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Postby Heloin » Sat Nov 21, 2020 6:09 pm

Nakena wrote:Even if you look at the GoldenEye movie from 1996 you can already see how dated the installation was back then. 25 years ago. Very heavy elements and lots of rust.

No that's just what happens when you have large concrete and metal things in the middle of the tropics.
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Postby Greed and Death » Sat Nov 21, 2020 7:59 pm

Northwest Slobovia wrote:
Nobel Hobos 2 wrote:
Hmm. Finding and tracking NEO's is pretty important. Is there anything stopping FAST from adding that later?

As I understand it, the receiver "cab" -- the movable part on cables -- isn't nearly large enough for adding transmitters, and the cables and supporting stuff isn't strong enough to bear a transmitter's weight.

There's also the point either Wakipedia or another site I looked at raised: Arecibo worked at higher frequencies, both transmit and receive, which let it study more kinds of things, and provided higher resolution images of NEOs. Changing that would apparently require a fundamental redesign of FAST, though I don't recall the details.



So your saying there is still a chance of a surprise NEO collision as the finale of 2020 ?
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Postby Xmara » Sat Nov 21, 2020 8:58 pm

Greed and Death wrote:
Northwest Slobovia wrote:As I understand it, the receiver "cab" -- the movable part on cables -- isn't nearly large enough for adding transmitters, and the cables and supporting stuff isn't strong enough to bear a transmitter's weight.

There's also the point either Wakipedia or another site I looked at raised: Arecibo worked at higher frequencies, both transmit and receive, which let it study more kinds of things, and provided higher resolution images of NEOs. Changing that would apparently require a fundamental redesign of FAST, though I don't recall the details.



So your saying there is still a chance of a surprise NEO collision as the finale of 2020 ?

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Postby Northwest Slobovia » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:06 pm

Greed and Death wrote:
Northwest Slobovia wrote:As I understand it, the receiver "cab" -- the movable part on cables -- isn't nearly large enough for adding transmitters, and the cables and supporting stuff isn't strong enough to bear a transmitter's weight.

There's also the point either Wakipedia or another site I looked at raised: Arecibo worked at higher frequencies, both transmit and receive, which let it study more kinds of things, and provided higher resolution images of NEOs. Changing that would apparently require a fundamental redesign of FAST, though I don't recall the details.



So your saying there is still a chance of a surprise NEO collision as the finale of 2020 ?

Despite the popularity of the Giant Meteor/Great Cthulhu ticket in some areas, the Biden/Harris ticket won the electoral vote.
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Postby Nakena » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:07 pm

Xmara wrote:
Greed and Death wrote:

So your saying there is still a chance of a surprise NEO collision as the finale of 2020 ?

If the world ends then at least the pandemic will be over


Afaik Viruses can continue to survive at zero degree for very long periods of time.
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Postby Greed and Death » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:18 pm

Northwest Slobovia wrote:
Greed and Death wrote:

So your saying there is still a chance of a surprise NEO collision as the finale of 2020 ?

Despite the popularity of the Giant Meteor/Great Cthulhu ticket in some areas, the Biden/Harris ticket won the electoral vote.


That's only because they threw out Giant Meteor/Great Cthulhu as spoiled ballots. Our Lord and savior Great Cthulhu is paying me 1 million souls to feast on to challenge this in court.
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