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Arecibo Observatory to Close Its Giant Eye on the Sky
After more than a half-century of supporting breakthrough scientific work—and providing a scenic backdrop for Contact, GoldenEye and other blockbuster Hollywood films—the iconic Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico is going dark. An NSF estimate from 2016, however, gauged the total cost of deconstructing the observatory at between $10.6 million and $18.7 million. Back in September 2017 the radio telescope took a beating from Hurricane Maria. “It’s a spectacular radio telescope, but it can’t do the things that Arecibo does because FAST doesn’t have a transmitter,” Werthimer says. This “open skies” approach is the ideal way to get the best science on the telescope, Werthimer says.
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