China completes world’s largest telescope
China has completed construction of the world’s largest radio telescope, which will use to explore space and help in the hunt for extraterrestrial life.
The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, is the size of 20 football fields and has the ability to detect alien life, as it searches space for strange objects such as neutral hydrogen, faint pulsars, and low frequency gravitational waves. China hopes to have the telescope operational by September.
“The project has the potential to search for more strange objects to better understand the origin of the universe and boost the global hunt for extraterrestrial life,” Zheng Xiaonian, deputy head of the National Astronomical Observation said.
The $231 million radio telescope would be a global leader for the next one to two decades, Zheng added.
The telescope’s large size allow to explore 1,000 light years into space. It was built into a natural karst depression in southwest China’s Guizhou province, protecting it from electromagnetic disruption.
“A radio telescope is like a sensitive ear, listening to tell meaningful radio messages from white noise in the universe. It is like identifying the sound of cicadas in a thunderstorm,” Nan Rendong, chief scientist of the FAST project with the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences said.