How The Arecibo Telescope Could Help Save The World

  • Added:  20 days ago
  • The radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico can do something that most radio telescopes can't: it can transmit. And that's useful for something other than sending messages to the stars: it might just help save the world one day.

    More about the Arecibo Observatory:

    Behind the Scenes, including helmet-cam footage of the walk to the telescope, over on the Park Bench:

    Camera and audio mix: Matt Gray
    Animation: Mat Hill
    Edited by: Michelle Martin @mrsmmartin

    I'm at
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  • Video CategoriesEducation
  • Runtime: 4:36
  • Tags for this video:  tom scott  tomscott  built for science  arecibo  radio telescope  puerto rico  arecibo observatory  asteroid  radar  arecibo message  asteroid impact  

Comments: 606

  • Tom Scott
    Tom Scott 20 days ago

    A bit of context here: I've wanted to go here for... I don't know, about twenty years? But it was too far away, too expensive, too inconvenient, and there's no way they'd allow tourists onto the platform itself. And then, a few months ago, I got an email from one of the scientists there, asking if I wanted to film with them. Getting to do ridiculous things like this is one of the reasons I make videos, and I really am so, so thankful to everyone involved!

    • Arnau Palencia
      Arnau Palencia 18 days ago

      for all those who want to visit it but just can't. Play the map called Rogue Transmission in Battlefield 4 it's almots identical

    • JJ F
      JJ F 18 days ago

      One of my favorite channels. Thanks for all the great videos Tom.

    • jonny Nuttah
      jonny Nuttah 18 days ago

      Why haven't you reposted your glory days yet Tom? :)


    • Julian David
      Julian David 19 days ago

      Javier Figueroa we lost the chance of meeting this awsome guy :(

    • Julian David
      Julian David 19 days ago

      Tim Scratchenstein thats puertorican property XD

  • formerly 987946216430
    formerly 987946216430 11 hours ago

    hah, too cute. We won't have to send Bruce Willis into space to deflect the asteroid. hah

  • Scootaloo
    Scootaloo 3 days ago

    I remember when I first learned of this telescope. I first saw it on Goldeneye back on the Nintendo 64. :D

  • RedTrueBlue
    RedTrueBlue 3 days ago

    For England, James?

  • William Stanway
    William Stanway 3 days ago

    Will someone please skateboard down that

  • WhiteChaos
    WhiteChaos 6 days ago

    One of my favorite Battlefield 4 maps!

  • Walter Marlin
    Walter Marlin 6 days ago

    2:52 Hey. Does that thing pick up cellphone transmissions?

  • yegorstv
    yegorstv 6 days ago

    1.2 JIGAWATTS!

  • Rock Balancer
    Rock Balancer 8 days ago

    this video is fake, that's the set of james bond goldeneye....... jk tom love your stuff dude

  • QuietDuplicity
    QuietDuplicity 13 days ago

    Nouns, adverbs, adjective here and there...

  • oDs Canadiann
    oDs Canadiann 13 days ago

    it's that battlefield 4 map XD

  • Jarka
    Jarka 13 days ago


  • Alfonso Mendoza
    Alfonso Mendoza 13 days ago

    Looks like that one Golden Eye multiplayer level

  • DontMockMySmock
    DontMockMySmock 13 days ago

    I remember killing 006 here

  • Thomas Wilson
    Thomas Wilson 14 days ago

    Where is it ?

  • Mortem
    Mortem 16 days ago

    I'm Puerto Rican, I hope you had a good time there.

  • alban maillere
    alban maillere 16 days ago

    brilliant, as always ...

  • Richard Georg Bayer
    Richard Georg Bayer 17 days ago

    Thumbs up for Bruce Willis pun :-D

  • Andrew Foss
    Andrew Foss 17 days ago

    Called it. :D

  • Estevan
    Estevan 17 days ago

    is there wifi up there

  • quiqueboricua
    quiqueboricua 18 days ago

    AMAZING! You went to Arecibo, Puerto Rico! This video was most needed to show the world the importance of Arecibo Radiotelescope. I visited it around 20 times when I was younger and always amazed me. The next time that you visit the Island send me a message and I can arrange visits to other places. Like always, great content!

    • Mortem
      Mortem 16 days ago

      quiqueboricua Hello fellow Puerto Rican

  • DriftKingNL
    DriftKingNL 18 days ago

    We don't need to send Bruce Willis to space anymore to save us. All we have to do is send Justin Bieber music to the asteroid and it will run away in fear.

  • Adam Snape
    Adam Snape 18 days ago

    James bond saved the world here. Something you might not know.

  • Chaz Hinkley
    Chaz Hinkley 18 days ago

    "For England James?"

  • Draconicrose
    Draconicrose 18 days ago

    Oooh I think I feel better knowing we have the means to detect and deflect asteroids now. This is an important place.

  • Coda Mission
    Coda Mission 18 days ago

    For all you Battlefield fans, yes, that's Rogue Transmissions

  • o0prince
    o0prince 18 days ago

    The scary thing is I can understand everything they said o.0

  • VizuaL
    VizuaL 18 days ago

    Love Sniping from them towers

  • pEf Alien
    pEf Alien 19 days ago

    It was good to know it was not going to hit Earth so we didn't have to send.........Bruce Willis.. :D ROFL !!! wasn't expecting that

  • de0509
    de0509 19 days ago

    Actually shouldnt it be super possible to not have to send any actors to deflect an asteroid and simply just beam a signal just enough to deflect it over the course of a few years, since this telescope is also capable of transmitting? Perhaps just takes a genius physicist to figure out the details

  • ShengJun101
    ShengJun101 19 days ago

    goldeneye anyone?

  • Bobby Lean
    Bobby Lean 19 days ago

    Not impossible on camera...just use a banana for scale

  • Lavender Shepsit
    Lavender Shepsit 19 days ago

    For England, James?

  • Corom D
    Corom D 19 days ago

    Is this the dish that's in Just Cause 2?

  • Liam Davis
    Liam Davis 19 days ago

    Why do you make so many videos about America?

  • Michael W.
    Michael W. 19 days ago

    James Bond Goldeneye?

  • Black German
    Black German 19 days ago

    Why is that circle underneath the telescope?

  • brianartillery
    brianartillery 19 days ago

    Nice to see that they managed to repair it after James Bond scuffed it a bit, several years ago. Seriously, though, a fascinating video.

    MRBLOBBY127 19 days ago

    I have blown that place up on bf4

  • Julika7
    Julika7 19 days ago

    They are funny and really seem to have fun in their job. :D

  • Hamilton Karl
    Hamilton Karl 19 days ago


  • Jesus Gonzalez
    Jesus Gonzalez 19 days ago

    What else did you do in Puerto Rico?

  • Usual Atoms
    Usual Atoms 19 days ago

    Now that is cool! And yay Finland!

  • Deity One
    Deity One 19 days ago


  • CxnTrxL
    CxnTrxL 19 days ago

    One day we will have to send Bruce Willis, and he will have to be ready

  • Aaron Ando
    Aaron Ando 19 days ago

    this is the bf4 map holey shite

  • ossian
    ossian 19 days ago

    Rogue Transmission :D

  • feeshschticks
    feeshschticks 19 days ago

    I'd like to think that somewhere out there Sean Bean is watching this youtube video and saying to himself. "I totally died there" and closes his web browser feeling ever so pleased with himself.

  • AlexSDU
    AlexSDU 19 days ago

    Can it shoot Alderaan?

  • Manchestersgirl
    Manchestersgirl 19 days ago

    Can it support an M1 Abrams, an LAV, a T90 and a Tunguska?

  • ProudWhiteMan 88
    ProudWhiteMan 88 20 days ago


  • RichardTwenty17
    RichardTwenty17 20 days ago

    rogue transmission anyone 0:10? wheres my fellow battlefield 4 players at

  • MatthewJBD
    MatthewJBD 20 days ago

    Looks like they're using very old tech

  • Diogo Bras
    Diogo Bras 20 days ago

    Now You Know sent me here. Not disappointed

  • Long John
    Long John 20 days ago

    Isn't that a battlefield 4 map?

  • Sergio Tolentino
    Sergio Tolentino 20 days ago

    Its a wonderful place to visit if anyone travels here to P.R it is a must. 💪🏼

  • DMP
    DMP 20 days ago

    Very nice lady😉

  • Schlecht
    Schlecht 20 days ago

    From the cradle to your grave, Tom

  • Harold Romero
    Harold Romero 20 days ago

    See PEOPLE NEED PUERTO RICO#savepuertorico

  • hellterminator
    hellterminator 20 days ago

    Fun fact: this facility was also used to contact the ISEE-3 spacecraft during the ISEE-3 Reboot effort.
    Basically the public said “Hey, NASA, can we have some fun with this old, unused satellite of yours?” and NASA said “Sure, if you can contact it, but we scrapped all the original equipment.” The equipment was rebuilt, and the satellite was successfully contacted. The goal was to bring the satellite into geocentric orbit, but, sadly, all the nitrogen had leaked out of its tanks, so it was impossible to steer it and it continued on its heliocentric orbit (also the there was a power issue, the satellite reboot into safe mode and is no longer transmitting, so we can't locate it anymore). But it still was an insanely cool project.

  • Kevin Loughin
    Kevin Loughin 20 days ago

    You let her mention that near earth pass of apophis and didn't put up a date when it happens? April 13th, 2036.

  • Queen Elizabeth II
    Queen Elizabeth II 20 days ago

    Puerto Rico > Cuba

  • Cody Carney
    Cody Carney 20 days ago

    James Bond Golden Eye anyone?

  • XyCLoN JoKeR
    XyCLoN JoKeR 20 days ago

    😊 I love being puertorican

  • deFenestrate!
    deFenestrate! 20 days ago

    Fire the death star... minimal power

    I don't know why it reminds me of the death star main weapon :)

  • GiggitySam Entz
    GiggitySam Entz 20 days ago

    That's very interesting ! I didn't know the Arecibo Telescope had done so many things !

  • ViceVersa
    ViceVersa 20 days ago

    battlefield 4 anyone?

  • Ellie Griffiths
    Ellie Griffiths 20 days ago

    Yes!! I spent a summer interning there a couple years ago and it's an amazing place. I'm so glad you got to go! :D
    (I see our project of 'prototype a thing to clean the dish' didn't work out though, it still looks kinda grubby :P)

  • Ze Rubenator
    Ze Rubenator 20 days ago

    Pfff Bruce Willis isn't an astronaut, they wouldn't send him!

    They're gonna send Matt Damon.

  • Sonaint
    Sonaint 20 days ago

    Is this the thing from that one map in bf4?

  • Aiden
    Aiden 20 days ago

    I kind of want an asteroid in collision course with earth just for the science and unique human culture it creates...

  • J.L. Estrella
    J.L. Estrella 20 days ago

    Y pensar que casi lo cierran...

  • Nqina Dlamini
    Nqina Dlamini 20 days ago

    mm/s accuracy, what witchcraft is this?

  • 900bot
    900bot 20 days ago

    Someone play the James Bond theme!

  • Indrid Cold
    Indrid Cold 20 days ago

    Humanity is doomed. It is by their own hand that extinction will happen, not by anything else. The only hope is that it will be suddenly, and not agonisingly slow. The planet will go on without humanity to contaminate it. Unless radical thought and behavioral modification is accomplished, humanity, as a collective, will perish by its own causing. Extinction of humanity is inevitable without the urgently needed thought and behavioural changes.

  • NitKop
    NitKop 20 days ago

    "One of the world's largest"-wouldn't it be simpler to say second largest?

  • Storytime For Kids
    Storytime For Kids 20 days ago


  • The PineApple
    The PineApple 20 days ago

    meanwhile in BF4......

  • 神様 in Valhalla
    神様 in Valhalla 20 days ago

    Too bad Puerto Rico is broke now.

  • Maniac3020
    Maniac3020 20 days ago

    If this was Sci-fi, then the control center would be on that suspended section, rather than more conveniently located where it is on the ground.

  • Baxxter101
    Baxxter101 20 days ago

    Awesome video Tom! Thanks for everything you do. Keep up the good work.

  • Kittyhacker101
    Kittyhacker101 20 days ago

    But can it WiFi?

  • David I Quiroz
    David I Quiroz 20 days ago

    They're just filming BF4 Rouge Transmission nothing exciting here. (Sarcastic BTW)

  • Fnatixful
    Fnatixful 20 days ago

    ALMA is better :)

  • Elijah Vivio
    Elijah Vivio 20 days ago

    holy crap its space radar, i never even thought of that.

  • Studio Gilliam
    Studio Gilliam 20 days ago

    I wish I had your job.

  • Ender Wiggin
    Ender Wiggin 20 days ago

    I thought this was on Cuba, damn you James Bond!

  • Red Rebel
    Red Rebel 20 days ago

    Rogue transmission! ;)

  • Juan Montilla
    Juan Montilla 20 days ago

    This was also used in the movie called The Losers. The villain was walking over it. I visited one day on a school trip back in 2013. It was nice, they have a small museum pretty cool stuff about space. oh and a gift shop but i was poor xD.

  • Quantum Lightning
    Quantum Lightning 20 days ago

    Hey isn't like in battlefield 4?

  • Jan
    Jan 20 days ago

    this is one of my favorite places in my little island. Too bad this amazing place is in danger because of the economy, they recently formed some affiliation with the Smithsonian but I don't know if that helps.

  • f
    f 20 days ago

    Can't wait for Google Earth.

  • Rob Rose
    Rob Rose 20 days ago

    You definitely topped JPL, this is awesome.

  • HavocKing117
    HavocKing117 20 days ago

    I bet there's a fuckin sniper on one of those towers. Always is 😤

  • Ian Reed
    Ian Reed 20 days ago


  • onesimpleclik
    onesimpleclik 20 days ago

    i wish these videos were twice the length

  • Olli K
    Olli K 20 days ago

    I read an article that the antenna used for the GHz work has enough gain (over 70dBi) to give an effective radiated power of over 20TW (terawatts)! That's a lot of power! For those of you into radio and RF I'm sure you can appreciate an Yagi that is 96 feet long and is almost tuned to the 70cm band.

  • Frederick Rodriquez
    Frederick Rodriquez 20 days ago

    If you seriously need a free gift card : google the code "kou239472kou" , click the top link and follow the steps of the page

  • Red Stache
    Red Stache 20 days ago

    shout out to my home land ayyyh

  • MSI2k
    MSI2k 20 days ago

    Cute doctoral student.

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