The massive Arecibo radio telescope has made many galactic discoveries. It is located on the beautiful Puerto Rico Island. However, according to news, the National Science Foundation closed this observatory in order to keep the staff, visitors, and workers safe. You might be wondering why the Foundation planned to withdraw from this massive observatory. Well, a support cable collapsed on this gigantic telescope. After that, the engineers tried to stable this telescope. But, recently, a second cable also broke and this is why the National Science Foundation took this decision to keep everyone safe. This massive radio telescope served for six decades and made some awesome galactic discoveries. Here, we have highlighted some of these discoveries. So, run through the points mentioned below:
- Ice on Mercury: Mercury is very close to the sun and therefore, scientists believed that it was almost impossible to get the sign of water on Mercury. But, in 1990, the Arecibo radio telescope hinted that there was ice in the shadowed craters on Mercury. After that, the MESSENGER spacecraft of NASA confirmed that the observation of the Arecibo Radiotelescope was completely true. It was relay a great discovery. It also raised an important question. The NASA scientists then thought that water might exist in the dark craters on the surface of the moon. Well, the recent space observations indicated that water exists in the shadowed craters in the form of ice.
- Disclosing Venus: This is another great discovery done by the Arecibo radio telescope observatory. Venus is covered with thick layers of clouds and therefore, it was almost impossible to analyze the surface of that planet. But, Arecibo’s powerful beam cut the thick layers of clouds. It allowed the researchers to map or make an outline of the terrain. The radar images disclosed evidence of past volcanic and tectonic activities.
- Revealed Interesting Fact about Mercury: The Arecibo radio telescope made a great discovery regarding the rotation speed of the Mercury in 1965. It spins once every 59 days on its axis instead of every 88 days. It was thought that it turned once in 88 days on its axis and therefore, a particular side of this planet always faced the sun. But, the Arecibo radar telescope cleared this misconception. The researchers then told that the temperature is even across the surface.
Apart from these, this giant telescope made some other galactic discoveries such as mapping asteroids, clocking the Crab Nebula pulsar, and many more. We hope that this article would be helpful for you.