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A-L-E-X
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30 Nov 2020 06:51

Yes Wat, that's why I also posted the different methology they used as well as the part about 99.2 percent rather than the 99.99995 percent needed (did I post enough 9's there lol)  The phosphine discovery in the Venusian atmosphere is also an interesting case.  Looks like that is being questioned also because the values they found are in dispute. There is an interesting back and forth going on between different groups of researchers.

I remember when the news about gravitational waves being discovered was such big news and used as proof of inflation.  Does the retraction mean that we now dont have any evidence of that anymore?
 
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midtskogen
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03 Dec 2020 14:19

NIL DIFFICILE VOLENTI
 
A-L-E-X
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03 Dec 2020 15:42

This is pretty sad, was this still the largest radio telescope in the world?
 
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midtskogen
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03 Dec 2020 21:50

A-L-E-X wrote:
This is pretty sad, was this still the largest radio telescope in the world?

No, FAST is larger.  Still sad, though.
NIL DIFFICILE VOLENTI
 
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Watsisname
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05 Dec 2020 20:28

It was the largest dish that could also act as a transmitter rather than just a receiver. It filled some important niche purposes, such as getting detailed radar images of near Earth asteroids and even measuring their rotation rates, but it's not an overwhelming or irreplaceable scientific loss. More sad for how iconic it was.
The great news is that nobody was hurt.

A good analysis of the collapse by Scott Manley: 
 
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07 Dec 2020 02:43

I'm just wondering about UK Space news and this is what I found: 
"Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:

"We want the UK to be a world leader in space technology which is why we are supporting our most ambitious innovators who are developing first-of-a-kind technologies to help solve some of our greatest challenges."

"From slashing carbon emissions to protecting the UK’s critical services from harmful cyber-attacks, today’s funding will unshackle our most entrepreneurial space scientists so that they can transfer their revolutionary ideas into world-class products and services while helping to boost the UK economy."


here is the link to the full article 


After reading the part of the article I gave, I became curious. Doesn't it sound too presumptuous? What do you think? Do you know about promising UK projects worthwhile?


S
 
A-L-E-X
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08 Dec 2020 14:00

Watsisname wrote:
It was the largest dish that could also act as a transmitter rather than just a receiver. It filled some important niche purposes, such as getting detailed radar images of near Earth asteroids and even measuring their rotation rates, but it's not an overwhelming or irreplaceable scientific loss. More sad for how iconic it was.
The great news is that nobody was hurt.

A good analysis of the collapse by Scott Manley: 

I have a question about why this telescope was ever built there.  Puerto Rico is near a major fault line and it's also very prone to hurricanes.... why would they put a telescope in such an area and why didn't they put it in a desert somewhere where such cataclysms dont occur?
 
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10 Dec 2020 04:42

Cataclysms happen everywhere. If it was put there, then at that time there was a rationale for this.
Unfortunately, failure can befall any project.
It seems to me worth discussing what he gave us, and not what he collapsed.
For example, with its help, the pulsar PSR J1906 + 0746 was discovered in 2004. You can, of course, also discuss that Arecibo intentionally allowed to break, but again, why?
 
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Watsisname
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10 Dec 2020 06:24

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post why would they put a telescope in such an area and why didn't they put it in a desert somewhere where such cataclysms dont occur?

Arecibo has gone through both hurricanes and earthquakes before and survived them. For almost 60 years. It was designed to withstand quite a lot, but obviously the engineering ultimately did fail, and it remains to be seen exactly why.

And, seriously, think about it. Do you really believe funding would have been granted to such a project if they couldn't demonstrate a reasonable resilience to expected natural disasters that would be likely to occur over its intended operational lifespan?
 
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10 Dec 2020 08:30

Don't mean to turn it political, but the Trump administration would not spend any money on Puerto Rico disaster relief, he's not about to put funds towards any other project there, or a science project in general. A double whammy.

And wasn't it originally built there because of a naturally occurring dish-shaped depression already in the land?
 
A-L-E-X
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11 Dec 2020 00:02

Watsisname wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post why would they put a telescope in such an area and why didn't they put it in a desert somewhere where such cataclysms dont occur?

Arecibo has gone through both hurricanes and earthquakes before and survived them. For almost 60 years. It was designed to withstand quite a lot, but obviously the engineering ultimately did fail, and it remains to be seen exactly why.

And, seriously, think about it. Do you really believe funding would have been granted to such a project if they couldn't demonstrate a reasonable resilience to expected natural disasters that would be likely to occur over its intended operational lifespan?

Yes of course, but I still wonder why it wouldn't be located in an area where the environmental risks were much less.  We've also seen a marked increase in extremely damaging storms in the Atlantic, starting in 1995 or so.  The differences in TC activity before and after are alarming.
Also, as Abner pointed out, we've had a nonfunctioning president the last 4 years.
 
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Watsisname
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11 Dec 2020 01:51

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post but I still wonder why it wouldn't be located in an area where the environmental risks were much less. We've also seen a marked increase in extremely damaging storms in the Atlantic, starting in 1995 or so. Also, as Abner pointed out, we've had a nonfunctioning president the last 4 years.

Do you think we should we go back in time to the 1950s to let the people proposing the project know?

Mr. Abner wrote:
Source of the post And wasn't it originally built there because of a naturally occurring dish-shaped depression already in the land?

Yes, that was part of the consideration for the location, though it's not the whole story. It was also originally built for missile defense research, so its location had geopolitical influences.
 
A-L-E-X
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11 Dec 2020 02:41

Watsisname wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post but I still wonder why it wouldn't be located in an area where the environmental risks were much less. We've also seen a marked increase in extremely damaging storms in the Atlantic, starting in 1995 or so. Also, as Abner pointed out, we've had a nonfunctioning president the last 4 years.

Do you think we should we go back in time to the 1950s to let the people proposing the project know?

Mr. Abner wrote:
Source of the post And wasn't it originally built there because of a naturally occurring dish-shaped depression already in the land?

Yes, that was part of the consideration for the location, though it's not the whole story. It was also originally built for missile defense research, so its location had geopolitical influences.

No of course not, but it's a logical conclusion that the best location for telescopes (of any kind) are low humidity desert locations and the massive amount of funds that were allocated to this project could've been better spent on an ideal location, since anyone who understands climate (even before 1995) would tell you that the kind of climate Puerto Rico has isn't ideal for this kind of instrument.  Certainly not a high humidity tropical rain forest kind of climate  (although the massive scope in Hawaii is on a tropical island, at the elevation of that scope, it doesn't have that climate.)  Chile, near the Atacama desert, the outback of Australia, the Namibian desert, and even inland Antarctica are all far better locations.

Ah, geopolitical....so now we see what's going on here.  That location had very little to do with science.  I intensely dislike it when any kind of politics or military BS taints and corrupts science, same as with corporate influences.
 
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Watsisname
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11 Dec 2020 14:00

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post but it's a logical conclusion that the best location for telescopes (of any kind) are low humidity desert locations

I would replace your parenthetical part with (optical and infrared). Optical telescopes favor dark skies far from urban light pollution, as well as stable and transparent air which is usually found at high altitude. Hence they tend to be located on remote and arid mountain summits. Infrared observations are hindered by the absorption of IR by water vapor in the atmosphere, so they favor high altitude as well. Put the two together, this is why most observatories are located where they are. But the radar functions of Arecibo's large dish aren't affected by light pollution, humidity, or even clouds. They go right through them.

Consider the Greenbank radio telescope in West Virginia. It would not be a particularly great location for an optical observatory, because it's often cloudy. But it doesn't care about clouds, and it does care about radio interference, which is why the area is a radio quiet zone.

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Ah, geopolitical....so now we see what's going on here.  That location had very little to do with science. I intensely dislike it when any kind of politics or military BS taints and corrupts science, same as with corporate influences.

It had a lot to do with both, and the choice in location ended up producing nearly 60 years of excellent science -- both for missile defense and for astronomy. I think it's rather fortuitous that a project that had military applications also had such significant and broad astronomical applications, and captured the public's interest as much as it did.
 
A-L-E-X
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11 Dec 2020 15:56

Watsisname wrote:
A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post but it's a logical conclusion that the best location for telescopes (of any kind) are low humidity desert locations

I would replace your parenthetical part with (optical and infrared). Optical telescopes favor dark skies far from urban light pollution, as well as stable and transparent air which is usually found at high altitude. Hence they tend to be located on remote and arid mountain summits. Infrared observations are hindered by the absorption of IR by water vapor in the atmosphere, so they favor high altitude as well. Put the two together, this is why most observatories are located where they are. But the radar functions of Arecibo's large dish aren't affected by light pollution, humidity, or even clouds. They go right through them.

Consider the Greenbank radio telescope in West Virginia. It would not be a particularly great location for an optical observatory, because it's often cloudy. But it doesn't care about clouds, and it does care about radio interference, which is why the area is a radio quiet zone.

A-L-E-X wrote:
Source of the post Ah, geopolitical....so now we see what's going on here.  That location had very little to do with science. I intensely dislike it when any kind of politics or military BS taints and corrupts science, same as with corporate influences.

It had a lot to do with both, and the choice in location ended up producing nearly 60 years of excellent science -- both for missile defense and for astronomy. I think it's rather fortuitous that a project that had military applications also had such significant and broad astronomical applications, and captured the public's interest as much as it did.

I dont disagree with you Wat, it's why I'm so emotional about this.  Going back to the 80s when I was in elementary school, I've been fascinated by radio astronomy and this telescope in particular.  I remember reading a book in 4th grade called in Quest of Quasars by Ben Bova which mentioned the extreme redshifts of quasars and how puzzling they were back then and that's what got me hooked on quasars and radio astronomy.  It's a truly sad loss.  I was reading about other large radio telescopes and I ran across another I remember reading about back then....Jodrell Bank observatories in England.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jodrell_B ... y#Research
Looks like they do research for SETI and into the CMBR too.  I think this is where pulsars were discovered?  They were going to be shut down about a decade ago but they rallied round to find the funding to keep going.
One of the reasons I love radio astronomy is because it is much less hindered by our own atmosphere than optical astronomy is, however I thought that to maintain the equipment in top condition you still needed a relatively dry climate at high elevation.  

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