Questions for “Star of science and movies, the Arecibo radio telescope is dead”

Arecibo Observatory

A broken cable damaged the Arecibo Observatory’s huge dish in August, as seen here. A second cable broke in November. On December 1, an instrument platform above the dish collapsed into the telescope’s dish, damaging it further.


To accompany Star of science and movies, the Arecibo radio telescope is dead


Before Reading:

1. What is a radio telescope and how do they work? Why do astronomers rely on them? 

2. What are radio waves? What are some of the other types of electromagnetic waves?   

During Reading:

1. Where is the Arecibo radio telescope located?

2. Which two movies featured the Arecibo radio telescope?

3.  How large is the Arecibo radio telescope?

4.  What happened to the telescope in the latter half of 2020?  

5.  Which organization owned the Arecibo radio telescope?    

6.  How did the Arecibo telescope work? 

7.  When was the Arecibo radio telescope built?

8. What are some of the discoveries astronomers have made using the Arecibo telescope?

After Reading:

1. How might radio telescopes aid in the search for extraterrestrial life in outer space?

2. Why is it important for astronomers to study radio waves coming from outer space? Explain your answer.