Footage Shows the Moment of Receiver Collapse at Arecibo Observatory

Video shows the moment the receiver of the telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico fell and damaged the reflector dish on December 1.

In the video, recorded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the receiver can be seen starting to fall toward the ground as cables snap, spraying debris into the air.

Another angle, filmed by the observatory’s drone, shows the wires and debris breaking away up close. The drone then retreats and swings around to view the reflector dish, fallen platform, and other damage below.

The NSF reported the instrument platform of the Arecibo Observatory telescope, the second-largest single-dish radio telescope in the world according to, fell on December 1.

No injuries were reported on the date of the collapse. Credit: National Science Foundation via Storyful