Thursday 19 November 2020


Bad Astronomy brings the sad news that the venerable, colossal radio telescope in the forests of Puerto Rico will be decommissioned after sustaining successive damage deemed irreparable. In operation since 1963 and achieving a range of observational accomplish-ments aside from being a cultural bulwark with many cameos Arecibo was moreover a representative, inspiring ambassador to the stars (beaming out one of our few missives to a neighbouring cluster of stars) as well as for aspirational Earthlings. We applaud efforts to improve and expand and appreciate the most noble of undertakings carried forward but it is nonetheless disappointing to be losing such an icon and engine of discovery and seeing this mantle disrobed—I have been a bit distraught in recent weeks over the character of this revamped Space Race, having known that the American and Russian sections of the ISS were separate physically and ideologically for some time, I thought nevertheless that the sense of cooperation rose above minor compatibility issues until pointed out to me that international is a misnomer and to the exclusion of China.