The ‘GoldenEye’ Telescope Sustained Serious Damage in an Earthquake
Fans of the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye (and the subsequent N64 game) no doubt know the Arecibo Observatory as the “cradle.”
The famous movie set is actually a 1,000-ft. radio telescope, the largest single-aperture telescope in world. The giant platform is suspended hundreds of feet above the dish by 18 cables, which are attached to three concrete towers.
Well, one of those cables was recently damaged.
According to the observatory, the cable was damaged during the 6.4 magnitude earthquake and subsequent 70 or more aftershocks that hit Puerto Rico back in January. Although the earthquake didn’t cause any known injuries, it did cause structural damage to nearby buildings and major power outages.
And now we learn that it also damaged The GoldenEye cradle. Damn you Mother Nature.
“That cable segment and splice near the top of one of the telescope towers was consequently more rigid than the balance of the suspension system,” director Bob Kerr told Universe Today. “When the earthquake shook the site, just after midnight on January 13, it is that short cable and splice that suffered damage.”
Apparently, the cable in question was already a known issue since it was actually made of two cables that had been spliced together during construction.
The Arecibo radio telescope was completed in 1963. It is used in radar astronomy, aeronomy, and radio astronomy.
Images via Wikimedia Commons