Back in mid-August, an auxiliary cable that was part of the Arecibo Observatory broke, severely damaging the reflector dish and bringing the observatory offline. Now it appears the same observatory has experienced a second auxiliary cable snap and even more damage.
When the first cable snapped back in August, it fell out of its socket, which contributed to a large amount of damage caused. Luckily, this second cable snapping didn’t cause it to fall out of its socket. Instead, it ended up falling down onto the reflector dish, causing some damage but nothing like the first time.
A statement made by officials from the Arecibo Observatory stated that nobody was harmed by this second cable snapping. Officials also noted that a crew of engineers were already actively working to resolve the issue.
Both of these cable incidents come directly after Hurricane Maria caused significant damage to the observatory in 2017. In fact, the observatory was still in the middle of repairs when the first cable snapped.
Despite all of these recent issues, the Arecibo Observatory staff are confident that the telescope will be back online sooner rather than later. That way, the telescope can get back to making groundbreaking discoveries as it always has.
Via Science Mag