Drone catches Arecibo Observatory’s last moments

The exact moment of Arecibo Observatory’s final collapse — when the cables supporting its instrument platform broke — was caught on video by a drone doing a routine inspection flyby, according to a new video released by the observatory Thursday (Dec. 3). 

The footage, taken just before 8 a.m. local time in Puerto Rico on Dec. 1, shows what at first appears to be a peaceful, blue-sky morning. Then, one of the main cables holding up the suspended platform over the radio dish gives way, and the entire platform swings downward, breaking apart as it twists toward the ground. 

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