Hopes to search for extraterrestrial life, space exploration, China officially opened the largest radio telescope in the world this Sunday,
Report from the media (Xinhua) 500-meter aperture spherical radio telescope (FAST) was launched in the Chinese province of Guizhou. The project was completed after the proposed 17 years ago. FAST structure is estimated to cost about $ 180 million.
Xinhua report alleges that in August, about 8,000 people were displaced from their homes for the birth of this project.
FAST cover the same amount of area to 30 football fields and consists of 4,450 plates. The displaced villagers compensate nicely as the Chinese government has said $ 269 million budget for redistribution.
Tianyan nicknamed the telescope, or the eye of heaven. Compared to the Arecibo Observatory,
which was previously the largest radio telescope and one dish, Tianyan has twice the sensitivity,
5-10 times the scanning speed and can accurately capture twice as much of the sky.
“By opening FAST to be used by the wider international community,
China is demonstrating its commitment to the promotion of astronomy global scientific project,”
said Douglas Vakoch, President of the International METI. “For more than half a century,
astronomers have using radio telescopes to answer the question haunting, ‘Are we alone?”
But astronomers face a major challenge: trying signals so weak that there is a need to telescope is extremely sensitive to detect them. ”
“The innovative design FAST and the huge collection give an unprecedented speed and sensitivity,
making it vital to the search for extraterrestrial intelligent beings in the coming decades,” said Vakoch.
“We can expect China to become the world leader in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence because of a clear commitment to building FAST.”
Can this project will also allow scientists to “detect gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time,
pairs of massive black holes,” since FAST possess the ability to analyze and measure the smallest changes in the pulse of the pulsars rates accurately.