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Why I’m Mourning the Arecibo Telescope – Slate

The Arecibo radio telescope was important for science, but it also has a special place in my heart.

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The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico on Thursday.Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images
When I was 13, my best friend Kristen and I went to see the movie Contact. We sat slumped in the bouncy red velvet chairs of the AMC on Azusa Avenue in Californiajust two of us near the front of the theater. I will never forget holding a giant bucket of popcorn as the opening sequence started, the music zooming out with us through the solar system. There was Earth at night, lit up cities below, and a golden…

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