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[Phys-L] Arecibo catastrophe

One of the most powerful telescopes in the world is on the brink of

The Arecibo Observatory faces an “uncontrolled catastrophic
collapse,” Ralph Gaume, the director of the astronomy division at the
NSF, told reporters this morning. The structure is so unsteady that
it’s too dangerous for engineers to inspect it up close. “According
to engineering assessments, even attempts at stabilization or testing
the cables could result in accelerating the catastrophic failure,”
Gaume said. Engineers fear that more cables could break and crash
into the dish.

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