Drone footage captures the collapse of the Arecibo Observatory

Date:4 December 2020 Author: Kyro Mitchell

Two different camera angles captured the exact moment the main cable failed on the 305-metre Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, causing the 900-ton instrument platform to plummet into the radio dish below.

The first camera angle was taken from the Arecibo Observatory control room and was preemptively installed in this location to capture the collapse, Ashley Zauderer, program director for Arecibo Observatory, told reporters.

As you can see in the first short clip, the platform did not fall straight down, instead, it behaved like a pendulum, first swinging before ultimately crashing into the radio dish below. Zauderer described the moment of collapse as “very violent and unpredicted behavior.”

The second video, which was captured by a drone, provides an up-close look at the middle of the three remaining cables snapping. A fourth cable should have been present, but it failed earlier this month, leading to officials closing the Arecibo Observatory due to safety concerns.

The drone, which was in the right place at the right time was being used to inspect one of the towers at the time and happened to capture the collapse.

Take a look at the extraordinary footage below. Be warned the audio is very loud, so be sure to turn down your volume slightly if you would like to preserve your ear drums.

 

 

 

Picture Screenshot from video

 

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