The Category 5 hurricane caused extensive damage to the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico, but fortunately it will remain operational.
One of the most important telescopes in the scientific world, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, was hammered when Category 5 Hurricane Maria swept through earlier this year, but there’s good news. Staff at the observatory have learned that the telescope will pull through and remain operational despite the devastation to the island.
The National Science Foundation, which operates the observatory and funds most of its $12 million budget, had contemplated shutting down the telescope, but officials have decided instead to continue operations and collaborate with a partner organization to run it.
The telescope sustained $4-8 million in damage, a sizable sum that makes up a large portion of its overall budget, prompting concerns it would be shut down. However, scientists will be happy to know that it will continue to make important contributions to science for the foreseeable future.