The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced that the world’s largest radio telescope was completed on 25th September in southwestern China’s Guizhou Province. The five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) is expected to be the world’s leading telescope for at least 10 to 20 years.
A formidable construction of the telescope began in 2011 and after more than five years, the last of the telescope’s 4.450 reflecting panels was installed. For the purpose of construction and smooth operation of the telescope, over 8,000 local people are being moved and re-settled from the vicinity of the telescope, which must be free of radio interference for a 5-kilometer radius.
FAST is still at the stage of debugging and testing. As soon as the telescope works properly it will be listening for signals from potential extra-terrestrial intelligence. In addition, it will contribute to the observation of celestial bodies, generate more reliable theories and models with which modern physics and astronomy could be verified and also offer large potential for new discoveries. In short, giant-telescope operations will help study a number of aspects of the universe.
Over 8,000 local people are being moved and re-settled from the vicinity of the telescope for construction purposes
Scientists with the help of modern innovation will now be able to observe neutral hydrogen in distant galaxies, detect faint pulsars, probe interstellar molecules and search for possible interstellar.
Even though the world’s largest radio telescope was designed, developed and constructed entirely by Chinese scientists it will be open to the international scientific community.