The National Science Foundation has released remarkable footage of the Arecibo Observatory’s 900-ton platform falling into the 1,000-foot wide (305 meters) dish below. A drone happened to be performing an up-close investigation of the cables that hold the platform above the dish as they snapped.
Videos released Thursday by NSF show both the drone footage and the view from a camera in the visitor center that shows the platform falling into the dish just above the jungle floor in Puerto Rico. Two massive chunks of the cement towers that the cables were attached to can also be seen falling.
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Two of the cables had previously broken, one in August and another in November, destabilizing the dish.