The radio telescope near the city of Arecibo in Puerto Rico is the Largest single-aperture telescope in the world. Known as the Arecibo Observatory, is also called the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center. The observatory's 305m radio telescope is the largest single-aperture telescope ever constructed. It carries out three major areas of research: radio astronomy, aeronomy (using both the 305m telescope and the observatory's lidar facility), and radar astronomy observations of solar system objects.

Private universities such as the renowned Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA in collaboration with the National Science Foundation jointly operates the Arecibo observatory. It is a subsidiary of the National Astronomy and Ionosphere center, which also comes under the administration of the same university. Data collected from various sources (domestic and international) is assimilated at the observatory.

Astronomy is the primary niche of research that takes places within the confines of the Arecibo observatory. In order to facilitate the research work, the observatory houses the largest single-dish radio telescope. This instrument will help the researchers in learning in depth about the planetary structures present in the outer space. An independent panel of experts will access the requests from scientists across the globe - to access the observatory and the resources it has to offer. If this panel feels that a particular research is plausible, they will invite the scientists to utilize the assets to the fullest.

In 1974, in an attempt to communicate with potential extraterrestrial life, the Arecibo Message was transmitted from the radio telescope toward the globular cluster Messier 13. Messier 13 is about 25,000 light-years away. The RuBisCO gene sequence was transmitted to three nearby stars: GJ 83.1, Teagarden's star SO 025300.5+165258 and Kappa Ceti (G5B), as part of the 35th anniversary of the Drake/Sagan transmission to M13, on November 7, 2009. Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) is a program to search for extraterrestrial life or advanced technologies while trying to answer the "Are we alone in the Universe?" question. On the other hand, Messaging to Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) is a program to actively search by transmitting messages.

The observatory was featured on Cosmos: A Personal Voyage in part 12, "Encyclopedia Galactica", was used as a filming location in the climax of the James Bond movie GoldenEye (1995) and as a level in the accompanying Nintendo 64 video game GoldenEye 007. The Battlefield 4 multiplayer map Rogue Transmission is also inspired by the observatory.