Sadly, this isn’t the first setback Arecibo has endured. It confronted dire financial trouble in 2008 and as soon as extra in 2016. Then, like numerous Puerto Rico, the observatory suffered essential harm all through Hurricane Maria. Points gave the impression to be turning spherical in 2018 when a bunch led by UCF took over operations from the Nationwide Science Foundation, and remaining 12 months, Arecibo acquired a raise from the $19 million NASA grant.
It’s unclear how prolonged the observatory may be out of price or how loads repairs will value.
“We’ve a crew of specialists assessing the situation,” Francisco Cordova, director of the observatory, talked about in an announcement. “Our focus is assuring the safety of our staff, defending the facilities and instruments, and restoring the ability to full operations as shortly as potential, so it might really proceed to assist scientists across the globe.”
Whereas Arecibo Observatory, constructed inside the 1960s, is unquestionably not the most recent telescope, nor most likely essentially the most superior, it’s nonetheless one in every of many largest on the planet. In accordance with Scientific American, it’s notably good at discovering gravitational waves and pulsars, and it’s been used repeatedly to raised understand near-Earth asteroids. The observatory has undoubtedly recovered from setbacks thus far. Hopefully, this time may be no fully completely different.