Arecibo Radio Telescope Collapses!

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At around 7:50am this morning the world famous Arecibo radio telescope collapsed after a series of failures weakened its structural integrity over the last few months. It’s possible that the final collapse was triggered by transient loads from a seismic event, and we expect to find out more in the coming hours. Based on photos of the destroyed structure I’ve tried to lay out a sequence of events that explains the distribution of wreckage.

Here some drone footage of the wreckage:

  1. 태선우TaeSunWoo

    Let’s pour a shot in respect

  2. Jumpcut Jimmy

    Does Jake Busey have an alibi for last night?

  3. mike mathews

    I blame James Bond for its destruction!!!!!

  4. rocketsocks

    First it started fallin’ over, then it fell over.

  5. Mark Jackson

    — None of this can be right. James Bond took this facility out years ago.

  6. jorik rouwenhorst

    Remember people in these times you don’t watch yo staging, but watch yo spacing.

  7. whisper0555

    This is a tragedy for the human race

    Most won’t understand how or why for a long time unfortunately

  8. Andrew Hawkins

    I went to see it about 15 years ago. It was amazing. It’s also in the middle of nowhere.

  9. MrMarket1987


    This was even featured on Carmen Sandiego. Definitely got an Arecibo-shaped hole in my heart now.

  10. Albin Ekblom

    Can we crowdfund the repair of this?

  11. Jake Kelly Kelly

    I feel like this whole channel is an inside joke lol

  12. CalgarGTX

    We knew it was coming but that’s still a disaster in every sense of the word

  13. Michael Carey

    C’mon Elon… time for a replacement! :-)

  14. Gerard Hammond

    When was the telescope last used in meaningful research? Just trying to gauge my youtube outrage. 1sec or Like click?

  15. Tom Martindale

    “And they shall inherit the wind”

  16. Blueberry Neko

    This dish turned into a really messed up trilogy

  17. World Traveler

    Well, now there is NO Excuse to rebuild it and rebuild it Better!

  18. Both Barrels

    Mannnn I’m getting Rogue Transmission flash backs

  19. P m W

    Man, they really ran her till the wheels fell off didn’t they? They got their good out of it.

  20. T Bentley

    Thats the reason we cant have nice things

  21. Mr Jean Deaux

    And yet, there’s endless funds for weaponry and war available.

  22. Jukes

    I would hope that they preserve the dish as some kind of monument, I’ve always wanted to visit.. oh well

  23. SumBrennus

    Areceibo, you snapped the wires of my heart. RIPieces.

  24. mx2000

    Can you do a video on the Chinese FAST telescope? It has some interesting features, like being able to change the shape of the dish to some extent.

  25. Ray Gun

    The Cradle came crashing down, now that score is settled :(

  26. Paul Pease

    RIP Arecibo. I was fortunate enough to see it in person over 20 years ago, truly an amazing instrument.

  27. Jake Doidge

    So sad, I’m glad they closed it prior though so no one was hurt as far as I can find.

  28. Nick Norton

    Sets up automated search on ebay for ex-Arecibo control tech.

  29. StrangeLord

    This makes me so sad this is part of Puerto Rican culture and the government here is to corrupt to do a thing

  30. Robert Schöni VSL

    OK, so, let’s assume that they finally will get their golf course !?!

  31. Ryan S

    2020 sucks, it’s the first of December, and the best radar observatory collapsed. This year is a mess.

  32. Quack Quark

    This is surprisingly similar to the death of a person, where complications compound.

  33. unfunk

    I beg to differ. Microsoft Paint was the PERFECT tool for this job!

  34. Vash TS

    Okay, who activated levolution at this location.

  35. SoccerSniper YT

    Scott:Arecibo Radio Telescope Collapses!

    Everyone else: RIP

  36. Les S

    I heard about this when I got out of bed. A great loss to the scientific community (Equipment wise).

  37. Francium Wave

    When you know how to design Antenna
    But you bought a Fake cable 😂

  38. Fred Derf

    Relax, all right? My old man is a television repairman, he’s got this ultimate set of tools. I can fix it

  39. Incendere Moonlite

    “It’s time to go, Arecibo radio telescope.”
    “Was I a good radio telescope?”
    “You were the best.”
    Rest well, sweet love

  40. Xenro66

    This is just tragic. RIP Arecibo RT.
    Something tells me that we won’t get a Mk2 with better specs and safety any time soon, due to the current state of the world.

  41. Vader

    2020 still has 1 month left and it kicked of December with this :(

  42. HammerHedhog

    For England, James?

    Also, RIP Arecibo Observatory a.k.a Antenna Cradle

  43. J. Ramos

    Something I haven’t seen mentioned was that there were several earthquakes in the 3-4 scale in the past few days.

  44. Number 1 Hustla

    “For England, James”

    “No…for me”

  45. Doug Bader

    All I can do is like this update, as my voice in the comments will be unheard by the wallets.

  46. Random Electronics and Di

    Drone mounted receivers and transmitters?
    You’d “only” have to hover the drone at the focal point.

  47. Wes Chilton

    Oh no! Even though this was likely inevitable, its so tragic to see and such a loss!

  48. elliott fenwick

    F, a dam shame, I did want to visit it one day.

  49. Hortensia delosSantos

    We knew it would happen, but it’s so sad to have lost such a marvel. Thanks for posting

  50. Sunhawk

    Time to build a bigger one in Barringer Crater. Bigger than the Chinese one.

  51. Ed Miller

    Was anyone around? Wonder if it made a noise when it fell…

  52. okrajoe

    Truly a shame – such a historic site.

  53. Rafael Martínez

    I remembered visiting it a few times and remembered one of the episodes of the X Files that is made in the Arecibo Radiotelescope that was awesome.

  54. Tim Rosencrans

    We can rebuild it. We have the technology. If Notre Dame can get a shit load of money for rebuilding I think this can.

  55. BWood63

    For some reason
    “In the after you can see that the towers are shorter and there’s no dish.”
    is incredibly funny to me

  56. Karlo E. Meléndez Peña

    Thanks for the video Scott, as a Puerto Rican myself I know of several friends that have worked at the observatory and it was truly a great technological loss. I do hope as you say, that something is built in its place.

  57. M Figs

    Wow, that happened way faster than expected. Truly a sad day for science…

  58. Gilgwath

    Well just build a new one on the moon … in 50 years time or so. Jokes aside though, this is a real tragedy and I feel really sad about it.

  59. Snyper1188

    God this breaks my heart.

  60. Alain Martel

    Good by, Arecibo observatory. You’ll be deeply missed and fondly remembered. That collapse was sadly unavoidable. It was only a question of time.

  61. Official Unicorn

    This is so unfortunate I was there a year ago today. :(

  62. tegneren

    That was so beautifully animated I got tears in my eyes

  63. LockeRobster

    [10hrs in MS Paint – The Video]
    Seriously though this is really shitty. Such an amazing piece of engineering just left to decay…

  64. cosmoflanker

    Alien Seal Team took out Earth’s most powerful interplanetary radar just prior to the invasion…

  65. Gesang Paudra Jaya

    Me who play BF4 : “Someone
    definitely have used Javelin or RPG to destroy that tower”

  66. Em Wintle

    Holy cow was that use of the “past present tense” confusing!

  67. chris

    Just watched the final scene of the sopranos, this was the number 1 recommended video at the end screen.

  68. Pinochet

    Damn, I can’t believe DICE added Levolution to the Arecibo Map!

  69. Printed Props

    Battlefield 4 Rogue Transmission map levolution happened in real life.

    The game was set in 2020 too!

  70. Landon L.

    “For England, James?”

  71. Jarrah White

    Arecibo’s lone survivor: YES! I AM INVISIBLE!

  72. Talltale

    Updated version for BF4 if they release a remaster ;)

  73. polik971

    “CQ , CQ .. this is W9GFO.. come back?” That movie got me on SETI for at least one decade (on multiple pc s)

  74. Nick Ya Boi

    Really hoping I wouldn’t see this is my recommendations any time soon as much as I look forward to your vids… :

  75. Grubby1

    “We have the technology, we can rebuild it!”

  76. Iangenker2

    Alec Trevelyan: For England James?
    James Bond: No for me.

  77. Daniel Jensen

    Would be cool if they replaced it with an updated version, although I doubt that will happen since the NSF was stepping away from it anyway.

  78. Enzo Fitzhume

    Well, the site is safe now. So let’s rebuild it! Or the very least use it to receive direct tv or something.

  79. Ma An

    Oh my god it really happened? I didn’t expect to see this title.
    This is sad indeed.

  80. XXLaffinGravyXX

    ” P R O M O T E D” ….” L E V O L U T I O N “

  81. Anthony Paull

    A Haiku for Arecibo:
    Quietly the dish
    surrendered to gravity
    We will all miss you

  82. Cladoxylopsida ‎

    “My coping mechanism is obsessively analyzing failures”
    You sound like my mother

  83. Flodgeshploff

    Let’s just hope it’s going to be rebuilt in the future, and if it is, it’ll be even better!

  84. BLUE_S1X

    “For England, James?”

  85. The Exoplanets Channel

    When one thinks that 2020 cannot end worse, then…

  86. kjgoebel

    Alternative headline: “Not Putting Workers on Top to Try to Repair it Turns out to be Right Decision”.

  87. Aurorithus Shadowstar

    I want to watch Goldeneye now. Seriously though, this is a great opportunity to rebuild! Arecibo II needs to be a thing.

  88. The Random Tube

    Rest in peace my friend, We hope to see you rebuilt and alive again!

  89. Hey_MMoe M

    “HELLO, wearetheAlienstha……” (Static)

  90. USAPatriotGamer

    When a virtual reality multiplayer map from battlefield 4 meets reality. Now my favorite sniping position is gone.

  91. Ben Taylor-Wright

    Such a sad end for an iconic piece of human achievement.

  92. Donald M

    I guess they were sending “rogue transmissions”

  93. Bob Cardinalli

    Well, if it hadn’t already been scheduled for decommission, there’s no hope now.

  94. Adrian Colley

    That’s the nature of cascading failure: decades of stability and then you lose a critical element, and suddenly the strain is too much for the remaining elements.

  95. pin pon

    “For England James?”
    “No, for me.”

  96. Jimmy James

    Start with a very remote, warm and humid location that’s hard on concrete and metal and difficult to service, add in chronic lack of funding and top off with several natural disasters that amplify the weathering effects already present. Arecibo was a massive target for the Second Law, it’s wonder it lasted as long as it did. Glad no one was injured.

  97. EEVblog

    I’m not sure which is sader, the collapse, or that you still have a day job you have to do.

  98. SlickStretch

    Me: “Whew. This year’s nearly over…”
    2020: “And another thing!–

  99. StrangeQuarkStar

    And without that radar’s range for observing asteroids, we’re all flying a little less safe now…

  100. Scott Manley

    Drone footage of the wreckage:

Comments are closed.