365: Day 193 – Farewell Arecibo

I came across an article about the permanent closure of the Arecibo Telescope in Puerto Rico. A couple of cables suspending the instruments above the dish have failed. This has compromised the central platform’s structural integrity, and there is no way to repair it safely. It’s a huge telescope and one that has long captured my imagination. I remember first seeing it in the James Bond movie, Goldeneye. At the time, I thought it was a fictional telescope but was delighted to discover it was a real place. It’s real-life contributions to science were even more fascinating than its role in the movie’s plot. What most captured my imagination is the message it sent out in the 1970s out into interstellar space in case any extraterrestrials may be out there listening. I have long wondered what if some being does happen to listen in. There’s a wonderful science fiction book I read earlier this year that toys with the idea that an alien civilization does end up receiving a message sent out from Earth.
I hope they find a way to rescue the telescope or invest in its rebuilding sometime in the near future.