“We heard a loud sound, a loud bang outside the control room. We started to see the eventual downfall of the observatory.”
– Ángel Vázquez, Arecibo’s chief of telescope operations, on the collapse of the 900-tonne telescope platform that hung above the radio dish. After two broken cables put the platform in “danger of catastrophic failure
,” it gave away at 8 am local time, falling 140 meters into the iconic structure below.