Observatorio de Arecibo – the world’s biggest radio telescope

27 11 2007

You might have seen the James Bond film Golden Eye (1995) or the Jodie Foster & Matthew McConaughey film Contact (1997) – then you might have recognised the Arecibo observatory.. I didn’t, even if I have seen Golden Eye (I think) but the guys, O and M recognised it immediately…
The world's largest radio telescope in The Arecibo Observatory

On Friday we went to see the world’s biggest radio telescope, weighing over 600 tons and suspended by cables 50 stories above, and used among other things for SETI research (SETI is Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence as seen in Contact, we had to watch the film of course after the visit), as well as studies of the solar system, planets and stars (astronomy in other words!). The observatory is situated in the hills of northern Puerto Rico, close to the town Arecibo – we drove through narrow, winding roads – it almost felt like a roller-coaster ride to arrive there. It was quite surprising to see cows grazing in fields at the side of the roads – it looked like Switzerland!! In other words, very unlike the southern part of the island where we only saw mango, banana and coconut trees and wild dogs.

There wasn’t time to discover more of this part of the island since the guys had insisted on experiencing Black Friday in the morning – the post-Thanksgiving sales which start as early as 04 in the morning (they went at 10 o’clock). The only bargain they made was a vaccuum cleaner, which made me very happy seeing that we didn’t have one in the apartment! With all the sand brought in from the beach I wasn’t looking forward to only sweeping/mopping the floors for the next year or so…

On our way home we stopped by an outlet mall in Barceloneta, and the guests shopped at bargain prices (the dollar is sooo low at the moment) at Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. We also did a little shopping, as we found wonderful bath towels at Ralph Lauren’s for $ 7.99 – that’s definitely cheaper than Ikea! Fortunately it wasn’t as crowded as the morning rush to the sales.


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3 responses

27 11 2007
desvon

Läckert att se det stora teleskopet. Jag har sett filmen och läst boken Contact. Riktigt bra och spännande båda två. Låter bra med en damsugare om det blir en del sand från beachen som slinker med in. Handdukarna lät verkligen som ett bra kap. Häftigt att naturen skiljer sig så pass från olika delar av ön.

27 11 2007
petchie

Desiree, intressant att höra att du både har läst boken och sett filmen – och att du kommer ihåg teleskopet!! Filmen var faktiskt ganska bra men lång.
Japp, dammsugaren är jag så glad för även om den så klart väsnas enormt (precis som alla USA-bloggare har sagt, amerikanska dammsugare är INTE tysta!), en av mina gäster dammsuger just nu😉
Jag ser framemot att se västra delen av ön som också ska vara helt annorlunda från det vi har sett från norr och söder.

19 01 2009
Friday theme / Show & tell: Underneath it all - USOs in Puerto Rico? « Petchie’s adventures

[…] only watched the film Contact with Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey because we had just visited the Arecibo Observatory, and I don’t give much thought to whether there is life on Mars or not (even if it was in the […]

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