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The photo, provided by the Arecibo Observatory, shows damage from the break of the cable supporting a metal base, creating a 100-foot-long crack in the radio telescope’s reflector disc in Arecibo, Puerto Rico.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A broken cable caused serious damage at Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory, causing one of the world’s largest single-disc radio telescopes to shut down. officials said Tuesday.
Central University Florida, which manages the National Science Foundation’s facility, said in a statement that a cable that helped support the metal base had been broken and caused a 100-foot (30-meter) long crack on a reflective disc. The university said eight panels in the dome were also damaged and the platform used to reach the dome was now twisted.
The statement said it was not clear why the cable was broken. The cost of damage is not known immediately.
Scientists around the world use telescopes to detect radio radiation emitted from objects such as stars and galaxies. It was introduced in the Jodie Foster movie “Contact” and the James Bond movie “GoldenEye”.