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

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