World’s Largest Radio Telescope Launched in China

World's largest radio telescope
World's largest radio telescope

The World’s Largest Telescope Is now a reality! World’s Largest radio telescope started its operations yesterday 25th September 2016 in southwestern China. This is a project that Beijing believe will help humanity search for alien life. The telescope is nestled between hills in the mountainous region of Guizhou. The Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), was built at a cost of 1.2 billion yuan equivalent to 180 million US dollars.

The FAST will use its vast dish, made up of 4,450 panels, to search for signs of intelligent life, and to observe distant pulsars — tiny, rapidly spinning neutron stars believed to be the products of supernova explosions.

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The World’s largest radio telescope dwarfs the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico as the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope, with twice the sensitivity and a reflector as large as 30 football fields.

World’s Largest Telescope
World’s Largest Radio Telescope

Chinese World’s largest radio telescope

China sees its ambitious military-run, multi-billion-dollar space programme as symbolising the country’s progress. It plans a permanent orbiting space station by 2020 and eventually a manned mission to the moon.

The Chinese President Xi Jinping celebrated the launch. He had also sent a congratulatory letter to the scientists and engineers who contributed to its creation.

World’s Largest radio telescope
World’s Largest radio telescope construction

The telescope represents a leap forward for China’s astronomical capabilities. This will be one of several “world-class” telescope projects launched in the next decade, said Yan Jun, head of China’s National Astronomical Observation (NAO), according to Xinhua.

In a test run before the launch, FAST detected electromagnetic waves emitted by a pulsar more than 1,300 light-years away, state media reported an NAO researcher as saying.

World’s Largest radio telescope Launch
World’s Largest radio telescope Launch

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The Location was chosen because of its low occupation and infrastructure. Therefore, the few displaced people will be compensated $270 million. This is more than the cost of constructing the World’s largest radio telescope.

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