Up Close: The William Gordon Telescope

Based in Puerto Rico, this is the world’s largest single-aperture radio telescope. People come here to view the planets of the solar system passing through the northern half of their orbit.

  • Words + Photography: Enrico Sacchetti

The William Gordon Telescope was completed in 1963 and is the world's largest single-aperture radio telescope, located at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. The main collecting dish measures 305 metres and is the biggest curved focusing dish on Earth, giving Arecibo the largest electromagnetic wave-gathering capacity globally.

Puerto Rico’s location allows the telescope to view the planets in the solar system over the northern half of their orbit. I arrived at the Arecibo Observatory around 4pm and was briefly shown around the various parts of the telescope. The plan was to check into my hotel and head straight back out for some evening shots, when it began to rain. Luckily I knew, as we were on a tropical Island, that the rain would probably cease soon enough and I made my way out to the site, where I was rewarded with this wonderful view of misty fog enveloping the telescope.

Enrico Sacchetti is a photographer based between Rome and London

Article taken from

Further Reading

Seaweed Farmers

Avaunt travelled to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, north-west Scotland, to discover the process behind harvesting seaweed and to find out what kind of workwear is needed to cope in the Hebridean climate.

Up Close: Ergol #6

Photographer Vincent Fournier’s ‘Space Project’ series displays a fascination with space through an archive of the most significant hubs in the world.

Hunting Eagles in Mongolia

Against the backdrop of an unforgiving landscape, the Kazakh tradition of eagle hunting endures. Photographer Frédéric Lagrange documents the culture he first fell in love with seventeen years ago.

Palm Wine Collectors

Namibian-born photographer Kyle Weeks considers how his most recent work – documenting the palm wine collectors of the Kunene River – confronts the challenging legacy of African photography.

The Worst Journey

Let us consider the companionship and hardiness of three men who, trekking through the pitch-black Antarctic winter, survived temperatures of -60°C, crevasse falls and frostbite.

Return to K2

Avaunt meets one of the greatest living mountaineers, Jake Meyer, to discuss what motivated his return to K2, the infamous mountain that defeated him seven years ago.
Browse by Category