The Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

Arecibo Observatory Documentary Debuts on 1-Year Anniversary of the Telescope’s Collapse

By: Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala on

he Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico is debuting a documentary film on Dec. 1 — one year after the instrument platform of the world-famous 305-meter telescope collapsed.

The film, The Biggest Dream, depicts how the observatory came to be, the wonder of the unique telescope and the worldwide impact it has had over the past 50 years.

“We had community volunteers come to us right after news of the collapse last year and offer their time and talent to create a film that shares Arecibo’s legacy,” says Francisco Cordova, the observatory director. “The creation of the film reflects the Puerto Rican spirit and demonstrates the magnitude of the contributions this facility and its people have made to the scientific community.”

The film’s producer and crew are all Puerto Rican and working professionals. Several have worked on Emmy award winning productions.

For the film’s producer and director, Andrew Hernandez of Luminne Productions, the movie was a labor of love.

“I have no words to explain what an honor it was to tell the story of the Arecibo Observatory,” Hernandez says. “All thanks to a FAMILY of scientists, filmmakers, and musicians who decided to mark history and tell this great story. I dedicate this film to the great dreamers who decide to believe that they can bring positive changes to this world by inspiring others.”

Watch a trailer for the film on YouTube.

The Biggest Dream will premiere at the Cine Teatro Fundación Angel Ramos on Dec. 1 in Centro Criollo de Ciencias y Tecnologia del Caribe en Caguas, Puerto Rico. The general public in Puerto Rico will be able to watch the film beginning Dec. 2. Plans are underway for distribution outside Puerto Rico after the holidays.

Behind the scenes image from new Arecibo documentary
Behind the scenes image from the new Arecibo documentary is shown. Photo credit: Nelson A. Rivera Ortiz

While emergency cleanup operations continue at the Observatory, the facility continues to contribute to discovery. The data collected from observations in the past 50 years continues to yield information that impacts current space work such as NASA’s DART and OSIRIS REx missions and will likely contribute to future discoveries.

The Arecibo Observatory is a U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) facility. The University of Central Florida manages the facility with Universidad Ana G. Mendez and Yang Enterprises for the NSF under a cooperative agreement. The views and opinions expressed in the production do not necessarily represent the views of NSF or the U.S. government.

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