One of the world’s biggest radiotelescopes collapsed in what a scientist lamented as a “major blow” to astronomy.
The 26-year-old telescope, a dish the length of a football field in diameter, gave way late Tuesday, said George Seielstad, assistant director for Green Bank operations at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.
The cause of the accident was under investigation.
The 300-foot telescope, which resembles a TV satellite dish, was used as a “major surveyor of the universe,” capable of covering the entire northern sky, Seielstad said. “Among other things we picked up naturally emitted radio signals from outer space,” he said.
“It’s a major blow,” Seielstad said. “We’ll have to determine the exact cause and will do that as quickly as we can, and then we will formulate plans to build something even better.”