Arecibo Observatory: Watching for asteroids, waiting for E.T.

The Arecibo Observatory collapse is a devastating loss, especially for the astronomy community. SPACE shares some of the many reasons why it was important and why it will be missed.

While the observatory does a lot of astronomy work, it is perhaps most famous for being the site of the huge Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) message directed at the globular cluster M13 in 1974.

Besides its scientific work, Arecibo is known for being the location of a climactic fight in “GoldenEye,” a 1995 James Bond film starring Pierce Brosnan.

The telescope is part of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center. The National Science Foundation has a co-operative agreement with the three entities that operate it: SRI International, the Universities Space Research Association and Puerto Rico’s Metropolitan University (UMET).

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