Hurricane Maria wreaks havoc on Arecibo radio telescope

To make matters worse, the situation is dire for on-site staff. The National Science Foundation understands that team members have generators, a water well and food for a week, but the roads may be impassable for days.

The hurricane compounds what was already a difficult period for the observatory. The NSF doesn’t believe it can keep funding Arecibo itself, and has been looking for partners who could shoulder the burden. Now, the telescope’s future is even more in doubt. While it sounds like repairs are feasible, can the NSF or any potential allies justify funding those repairs? It wouldn’t be as simple as shutting down Arecibo (there are environmental considerations), so its fate is very much in limbo. The only certainty is that Puerto Rico needs help right now — please consider donating to a relief fund if you can.

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