World's Largest Single-Dish Radio Telescope Starts Operating In China? Will The Project Succeed?By Sarah T., UniversityHerald Reporter
This weekend, The world's largest radio telescope called FAST begun operating in China. The giant device was used on Saturday. Sept. 24, to search for signals from stars and galaxies. Aside from that, it can be used to search for extraterrestrial life.
China has made a history again as the world's first giant single-dish radio telescope has started operating in south-western China. The dish with reflector is large as the 30 football pitches. The Guardian reported.
The device with the acronym FAST, which means, five-hundred-metre aperture spherical radio telescope, is located between hills in the mountainous region of Guizhou. The cost of building the giant telescope is 1.2bn yuan ($155), and now, it is bigger than Arecibo observatory in Puerto Rico, and has twice the sensitivity and a reflector as large as 30 football pitches.
It took five years to complete this giant telescope, according to PHYS. Since the dish is used in research on stars, it won a Nobel prize.
A local news publication reported that there were hundreds of astronomers and enthusiasts watched the launch of the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST in the Pingtang.
FAST is made up of 4,450 panels, so it could able to search signs of life and observe tiny, rapidly spinning neutron stars, which are believed to come from supernova explosions. The country sees its multi-billion-dollar space program as the symbol of country's progress.
Aside from researching extraterrestrial and stars, researchers told the local media that FAST would research for gravitational waves and even detect radio emissions from stars and galaxies. Also, by using this device, researchers can listen for signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life.
Qian Lei, an associate researcher with the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told the local media about the goal of FAST.
"The ultimate goal of FAST is to discover the laws of the development of the universe," Lei said.