World's largest telescope in jeopardy


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When and if the telescope is shut down, I want it to be because it’s obsolete, not for lack of funding.


If Nintendo 64 GoldenEye 007 taught me anything, the biggest threat to this telescope is James Bond!


I’m surprised the place wasn’t shut down after it was used as the secret base of that Russian terrorist who almost destroyed London with an EMP blast.

(Yes, I know that officially “never happened” but whistleblowers released a documentary about it called Goldeneye.)


If the world’s largest telescope is in Jeopardy, shouldn’t the headline be in the form of a question?


All 007 kidding aside, this is terrible news.


Very sad :frowning: I really hope they figure out a way to keep it going. I took a trip there with my undergraduate physics class in 2009ish. It was a lifechanging event for me.

I took some fun panoramic photos in and around the telescope if anyone is interested:


Is Arecibo on the chopping block because in September the larger Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) radio telescope opens in China?


Feels like the telescope has been in jeopardy every few years over it’s lifetime.


No, it’s because the PR economy is in the toilet, and the people who could solve the problem would prefer not to.

EDIT: Waaaaaaait a minute.

And right now, the Arecibo Observatory is facing demolition due to budget cuts.


“We’re not here today to announce the closing of Arecibo, or the reduction of any funding whatsoever,” said Ralph Gaume, Arecibo program officer within the agency’s Astronomical Sciences Division.


In Contact (film), Jodie Foster still makes contact with the aliens, even after Arecibo gets shut down due to funding cuts. I maintain hope!


When I was vacationing in Puerto Rico decades ago, I made it a point to go and see Arecibo. It was awesome, as you might expect. But what really stuck in my mind was, on the winding dirt road to the top, a passed an old man leading a donkey coming down. The juxtaposition of the old and the new was sublime.


It has a different funding source. The NSF has poured all its radio astronomy dollars into ALMA, a billion-dollar-plus interferometer array of 12 meter dishes in Chile.

I work on the 12 meter millimeter-wave radio telescope on Kitt Peak that was defunded by NSF in 2000. The University of Arizona took it over and installed an ALMA prototype antenna in its place. But we don’t get much NSF funding, because it’s not sexy Big Science.


What’s the surface of the dish made out of? I have dreams of renting it out for a roller skating party.


It’s mesh. Not suitable for roller skating upon.


Maybe they should rent out space near the telescope to “electrosensitives.” There are people who choose to live in the radio quiet zone around Green Bank. Build a little town for folks who want peace and quiet in a tropical location.


Cricket then?


I heard that was all just a big hoax funded by some bored billionaire.

(as much as I love that story, the ending is infuriating)


I love that movie!

Ran out of likes when I woke up this morning :angry:, so here’s a couple :heart::blue_heart: to tie you over until I get them back.



Bouncy castle?