A Great Eye on the Cosmos Has Gone Out

Discussion in 'Techforge' started by Tuckerfan, Nov 20, 2020.

  1. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    The Arecibo telescope is dead.
    One hopes that Congress will provide funding for it to be replaced, but I'm dubious.
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  2. Paladin

    Paladin Overjoyed Man of Liberty

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    :(
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  3. NAHTMMM

    NAHTMMM Conversant in dark parables

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    Completed in 1963. Over 50 years of service.
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  4. Bickendan

    Bickendan Custom Title Administrator Faceless Mook Writer

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    :salute:
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  5. Fisherman's Worf

    Fisherman's Worf I am the Seaman, I am the Walrus, Qu-Qu-Qapla'!

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    It apparently collapsed earlier today:



    Someone was actually able to get some footage:

    [​IMG]
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  6. The Esquire of Gothos

    The Esquire of Gothos The Squire of Gotham

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    What a shame :(

    SO MUCH was accomplished with that telescope.
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  7. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    I hope to heck they rebuild the thing. Too valuable an instrument to be without.
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  8. Bailey

    Bailey It's always Christmas Eve Super Moderator

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    Glad that there were signs that let them know the failure was imminent a couple of weeks ago, otherwise people would have been killed when this happened.
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  9. We Are Borg vs. USS Crazy Horse

    We Are Borg vs. USS Crazy Horse Probably a Dual

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    Sad. I always wanted to visit Arecibo.

    Been to the VLA in New Mexico twice. It's quite a sight.
  10. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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  11. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Today there are better tools. China has a similar scope that just came online. Space telescopes are the way to go. Even a space radio telescope would be better than rebuilding this. You could have a planet sized "dish."

    [​IMG]

    Arecibo was built at the height of the cold-war not to visit distant stars (that was a side benefit) but as a way to transmit high-power radar to look at soviet ICBMs in flight. That purpose was made redundant by other space based satellites so it lost its funding.

    Still they were doing good science there.
  12. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    The ideal location for an Arecibo-sized telescope would be the dark side of the moon, shielded from all Earth radio emissions. Hate to think what that would cost, tho . . .
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  13. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Elon, you're needed...
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  14. Clippy

    Clippy Fresh Meat

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  15. Bailey

    Bailey It's always Christmas Eve Super Moderator

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  16. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, and no. For the cost of an orbiting radio telescope, you could probably have a dozen earthbound ones. All of which could be daisy-chained together to act as a single giant dish (we currently do this periodically). Granted, a space-based telescope could pick up things that an earthly one couldn't, but you could still get huge volumes of data.

    The big problem with an orbiting telescope is one that we're having right now, that few people outside of the various space programs know about: Not enough antennas on the ground to handle all the data we could beam back. Already, the various probes we have out there are having to dump data because there's no available stations on the ground to receive the transmission and the probe doesn't have enough storage to keep the data until one becomes available and still collect data. I believe that Arecibo was one of the places probe data was sent to. Without the telescope, even more data gets lost.

    So, even if we build orbiting telescopes, we're going to have to build more ground-based ones as well, since they can do double duty as downlink stations.
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  17. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    FE766222-FBC9-4484-BAD8-D5A36D1F2160.jpeg
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  18. Bickendan

    Bickendan Custom Title Administrator Faceless Mook Writer

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  19. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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  20. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Space Force might want to rebuild the telescope, according to info buried in this piece.
  21. Fisherman's Worf

    Fisherman's Worf I am the Seaman, I am the Walrus, Qu-Qu-Qapla'!

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    And we'll make Mars pay for it!
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  22. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    Puerto Rico's governor is pledging money to try and rebuild the telescope.
  23. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    The PR govt should not be pledging money to pure science, they have enough on their plate with the day to day.
  24. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    I’m sure the telescope brought in some tourist dollars, not to mention the various scientists who traveled to the facility for research.
  25. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    They have beaches for that.

    Most of the science is done far from the source.
  26. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    I don't know about you, but I'd rather live in a society where a government was more willing to throw money at scientific research to boost tourism than they were something superficial like tax cuts for beachside resorts.
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  27. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    Throw money at rebuilding schools damaged in hurricanes.
  28. Tuckerfan

    Tuckerfan BMF Staff Member Moderator

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    One might argue that so long as there are homeless people in the US that we shouldn't spend money on things like the space program or SETI.
  29. Lanzman

    Lanzman Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Formerly Important

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    Yes, and we call the people making that argument "idiots."
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  30. steve2^4

    steve2^4 Aged Meat

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    I'm fine with federal agencies doing space exploration. Local government not so much.