Are you a James Bond fan? If so, you may recognize the Arecibo Observatory from the GoldenEye film, when Pierce Brosnan kills a defected agent and becomes 007 for the first time. Located in the remote hills of Arecibo, the Observatory holds the world’s largest single dish radio-telescope, used for everything from studying asteroids to communicating with aliens.
Not just iconic, this telescope has become influential to the Puerto Rican people. It boasts an accompanying science museum, feature film and cafe. Almost every resident of the island can fondly remember an elementary school field trip to the Arecibo Observatory, and an interest sparked in astronomy and science as a result. The place has served as a launching pad for many STEM careers.
The staff is passionate about what they do. Your tour visit includes looking at moon rocks and studying physics through games and activities. Parking gets full so come prepared to walk with comfortable shoes and water since the site is on a hill. Also, cell phone use is not allowed on site as it interferes with the equipment so you won’t have service, just a heads up.
Unfortunately, this incredible asset to the scientific community is threatened by sparse funding. If you want to help spread the word and keep this amazing piece of technology up and running, make sure you stop by while visiting the island! Spread awareness and geek out in the name of science.