VIDEO: Watch the catastrophic collapse of iconic Arecibo Observatory telescope

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The video under captured the catastrophic failure of an enormous radio telescope in Puerto Rico thought of to be one of the largest in the world.

The Arecibo Observatory telescope collapsed onto a reflector dish some 450ft (137m) under on Dec 1, after many years of astronomical discoveries.

“I want to express how deeply saddened we are here,” mentioned Ralph Gaume, director of astronomy at the US National Science Foundation (NSF). “And NSF is very thankful that no one was hurt. As you know, safety has always been and continues to be our top priority.”

NSF, which operates the telescope via the University of Central Florida, launched that dramatic video throughout a Zoom replace with reporters.

“You can see the platform suspended in the center of the screen, you see off in the distance, just to the left of center, is Tower 4,” mentioned John Abruzzo, a supervisor at Thornton Tomasetti, an engineering firm known as in earlier than the collapse to evaluate the construction.

“You can see, I hope, the cables that go from the top of Tower 4 to the platform. … And so it’s those cables that fail near the tower top first. And once those fail, the platform then loses stability and starts to come down.”

NSF had introduced on November 19 it could be decommissioned earlier than the sudden collapse on Thursday, December 1.

The Arecibo Observatory was made up of a set 1,000-foot dish antenna constructed right into a pure despair that mirrored radio waves or radar beams as much as the receiver array suspended 450 toes above by cables stretching from three help towers.

Engineers mentioned it couldn’t be repaired as a result of of the pressure on the remaining cables.

“We knew that it was just a matter of time,” mentioned Abruzzo. “And it was a very dangerous and precarious situation, because (the remaining cables) could have gone really at any time.”

Check out the video under