Sunday September 25, 2016

China Powers Up World's Largest Telescope

It’s time to start hunting for aliens. FAST, which measures 500 meters in diameter, is now officially in operation and offers great potential for scientists to detect signs of life on other planets or galaxies.

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The 1.2 billion yuan ($180 million) science mega-project is named after its huge dimensions: the Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST. Built within a valley surrounded by naturally-formed karst hills in China's remote and mountainous southwestern Guizhou province, the FAST radio telescope's huge dish is equal in size to 30 football pitches and was built from 4,000 individual metal panels. It also required the relocation of 10,000 people living in the vicinity of the huge structure. The feasibility study for the telescope was carried out over 14 years and construction took more than five years to complete.