This week has been a major disaster for the entire astronomer community, especially the part of it that has been looking for signs of intelligent life in deep space. The second largest radio telescope in the world, the Arecibo Observatory, was finally destroyed.
This happened a few months after one of the cables supporting the radio telescope burst. Due to the stress, a cascade reaction occurred, which led to the complete collapse of the 900 ton structure.
What was happening could be recorded on two cameras – one from the control room, where astronomers usually work. The camera was installed just in case of a collapse. The second video was filmed with a flying drone. As you can see below, the telescope did not fall down at once. The main cable burst first, followed by three more support cables.
You can also see how the tops of the towers come off. The management noted that the collapse was dire and unpredictable. None of the people were seriously injured. However, it is difficult to say what will happen to the Arecibo observatory now. Built in 1963, it was already scheduled to be demolished as renovations were deemed too dangerous. But whether attempts will be made to build a new version is not clear.