Arecibo SETI Telescope Collapses Completely

As recently as yesterday, NASA had been exploring options to repair the ailing dish.

12. 1. 20 by Victor Tangermann
Jeff Hitchcock
Image by Jeff Hitchcock


It’s a sad day for astronomy.

The iconic Arecibo Observatory collapsed on Tuesday, according to officials. The 900-ton platform suspended above the 1,000-foot-wide dish antenna came crashing down, caused by failing cables that were already stretched to their limits.

As recently as yesterday, NASA had been exploring options to repair the ailing dish.


Extensive Damage

Luckily, no injuries were reported, according to tweets by the National Science Foundation.

In August, an auxiliary cable snapped, causing massive damage to the gigantic dish below. Then in November, a main cable snapped, causing even more damage.

Less than two weeks ago, scientists announced plans to demolish the 57-year-old observatory.

Signal Noise

The Arecibo Observatory has been collecting invaluable data, listening in on mysterious radio signals emanating from the far corners of the observable universe.


It has also been used to send out the “Arecibo Message” in the 1970s, a pattern of numbers and chemical formulae, in a symbolic effort to reach out to intelligent extraterrestrial lifeforms that may exist elsewhere in our universe.

Scientists are mourning the news, with some tearing up during interviews.

READ MORE: Huge Puerto Rico radio telescope collapses; many mourning [Associated Press]

More on the observatory: Iconic Arecibo Alien-Hunting Observatory Will Be Demolished


Care about supporting clean energy adoption? Find out how much money (and planet!) you could save by switching to solar power at By signing up through this link, may receive a small commission.

Share This Article

Keep up.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter to keep in touch with the subjects shaping our future.
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement and Privacy Policy


Copyright ©, Camden Media Inc All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Data Use Policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.