Puerto Rican scientists mourn loss of Arecibo Observatory’s iconic telescope

In a year full of terrible new sorrows and burdens, the collapse of Arecibo Observatory‘s iconic radio telescope feels like a particularly brutal loss to Puerto Ricans.

The 57-year-old telescope, a massive dish 1,000 feet (305 meters) across, has been an icon of science on the island, several Puerto Ricans told Space.com. The observatory’s conferences have brought a wide variety of researchers to visit the island, field trips to its visitors’ center have been a “rite of passage” for Puerto Rican children, and its local research programs have shown students that science is open to them. 

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