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The Arecibo Telescope ~ Simon and Justin Allen

“Conceived in the 1950s to develop anti-ballistic missiles defences and to better understand the F layer of the ionosphere a project to build a radio telescope began construction in 1960 being completed in 1963.  The construction used a naturally occurring sinkhole that was roughly spherical in shape and which could accommodate a dish 305 m in diameter.

 

Refinements and additional construction and the erection of a Greogian sub-reflector enabled planetary observation by radar.  It was used for pulsar detection and to send a message to other civilisation.  It was a notable backdrop in a James Bond film Golden Eye and featured in Carl Sagan’s Contact.

Sadly it is no more.  On 1 December 2020, it collapsed.

We examine its creation and discoveries and whether it has a future.”


The Local Group

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