Arecibo Telescope to close.

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Brian
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Arecibo Telescope to close.

Post by Brian »

Just seen this reported elsewhere:

"Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope to close in blow to science". Storm damage is too great to repair:

https://apnews.com/article/puerto-rico- ... 5f20e402e4
Brian
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jeff.stevens
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Re: Arecibo Telescope to close.

Post by jeff.stevens »

I’m only just catching up with the news about this. How very sad.

I heard Vicky Duncalf mention it during Friday evening’s SPA Popastro Live broadcast (which have been great to watch) via Facebook.

Best wishes, Jeff.
Brian
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Re: Arecibo Telescope to close.

Post by Brian »

It is now reported that the huge receiver unit strung across the dish on wires has fallen into the bowl. No injuries reported but this must truly be the end for Arecibo :(
Brian
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brian livesey
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Re: Arecibo Telescope to close.

Post by brian livesey »

The great dish seems to be dropping to bits in its old age. It would be interesting to know, allowing for developments in the the sensitivity of modern radio technology, if a smaller dish can be as effective as Aricebo.
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jeff.stevens
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Re: Arecibo Telescope to close.

Post by jeff.stevens »

Hard to imagine the scale of this receiver. According to the article links from SpaceWeather.com the main instrument platform, which fell, weighed 900 tons. That’s a lot of weight to support.

Best wishes, Jeff.
Kay Burton
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Re: Arecibo Telescope to close.

Post by Kay Burton »

Well, as far as I know, the telescope was quite old and I don't know if any restoration work was carried out on it. So, it is not known here what is the main reason for its breakdown - the deterioration of the structure or the force of the storm. For example, how would a new structure have handled this storm? Probably no major damage. These are all theoretical assumptions. But what facts do we have? The location for the telescope is good. This means that there is a possibility of recreating the telescope in this area. Perhaps they will make it even more powerful.
jeff.stevens
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Re: Arecibo Telescope to close.

Post by jeff.stevens »

Sky & Telescope have an article with video footage of the collapse of the main instrument platform.

Best wishes, Jeff.
brian livesey
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Re: Arecibo Telescope to close.

Post by brian livesey »

Following on from the demise of the great Aricebo dish, Western radio astronomers will find succour in China's offer to let foreign astronomers use their own gargantuan radio dish, the Five-Hundred-Metre aperture Spherical Telescope at Ping Tang. The radio telescope is currently the largest in the world.
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RMSteele
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Re: Arecibo Telescope to close.

Post by RMSteele »

Apparently the tin pan can’t do radar Brian, which was a big thing with Arecibo, for imaging NEAs etc. Arecibo was more versatile. Bob
brian livesey
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Re: Arecibo Telescope to close.

Post by brian livesey »

For cosmological work, radar won't apply. It's okay for producing radar pictures of new comets and asteroids.
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Re: Arecibo Telescope to close.

Post by SkyBrowser »

There's a mention of this in the January edition of the Sky@Night magazine, complete with a scary picture of a technician walking up the guide cables to check them, seemingly without any safety harness!
JohnM
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Re: Arecibo Telescope to close.

Post by JohnM »

Brian,

It is not only imaging asteroids that the radar on aricebo was useful for it allowed the accurate determination of the distance to the asteroid and thus better confirmation of the orbit. Very important for NEOs. The Goldstone antenna is an alternative radar but this is busy with deep spacew communications so has very limited time for Radar. Anyone willing to finance the (re-) fitting of a transmitter to the Lovell Telescope ?
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RMSteele
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Re: Arecibo Telescope to close.

Post by RMSteele »

That sounds like a great idea John. I’d kick in £50; if you can cannibalise a decent microwave oven and adapt it with your engineering skills we could upgrade the Lovell. Actually it does sounds like a good idea. I wonder what it would cost, but importantly would the old girl stand the extra weight? Bob
JohnM
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Re: Arecibo Telescope to close.

Post by JohnM »

For those who are not aware of the history of the Lovell Telescope when first built is was fitted with a radio transmitter and it's first job was to track the third stage of the rocket that launched the Sputnik Satellite. The satellite was easy to track as it was emitting a radio signal - you could pick it up on a medium wave radio receiver, this is what spooked the American public. However the rocket used to launch Sputnik was in fact an Inter Continental Ballistic Missile so it was important to track the upper stage and other later rockets in case they were carrying atomic bombs aimed at the UK or USA. For several years the RAF maintained a presence at Jodrell Bank as part of the UK Early Warning System. The RAF of course had priority and could take over the telescope to use as a radar when required.

I am not sure if the Mk11 telescope was used for a similar purpose. This was designed as a rocket tracking dish destined for Australia but became surplus to requirements and was installed at Jodrell Bank.

There is a page in trhe BBC Archive about the use of Jodrell bank in the cold war at http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/content ... ture.shtml also https://rylandscollections.com/2017/10/ ... telescope/ no doubt a bit of internet research will show more.

There is a fairly authoritative account in a Royal Society paper at https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/ ... .2007.0024 this seems quite comprehensive
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