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China Making Largest Telescope That Could Help Detect Alien Life

Image: China Making Largest Telescope That Could Help Detect Alien Life
(CNN)

By    |   Tuesday, 13 Oct 2015 09:47 AM

China is making the world's largest radio telescope that, when finished, will help us understand the universe better and could even help find potential signs of life on other planets.

According to China's state-run news agency Xinhua, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) is set to be completed in 2016. The telescope will be able to detect radio signals from as far as tens of billions light years away, CNN reported.

"A radio telescope is like a sensitive ear, listening to tell meaningful radio messages from white noise in the universe," Nan Rendong, chief scientist of the FAST project, told Xinhua, according to CNN. "It is like identifying the sound of cicadas in a thunderstorm."

The Daily Mail reported in July that that the telescope
, which is being built in the Guizhou province in southwest China, is the country's largest astronomy project ever.

"FAST will remain the best in the world in the next 20 to 30 years after it is completed,"
Li Di, the chief scientist of the National Astronomical Observatories Chinese Academy of Sciences, said.

"We are aiming to discovering something that is worthy of a Nobel Prize. Although we built the telescope, we welcome scientists from all around the world to use it," Li added.

The Daily Mail reported that the each reflective panel on the telescope — 4,450 panels in all — will be controlled by cables to make sure radio signals can be recorded from all angles. The design will give researchers the ability to shift the dish to receive signals from different angles.

"The biggest challenge of this project is to calculate quickly and attached these data to thousands of computers to change the direction of such a gigantic telescope," Li said. "We will be using lasers to pinpoint the exact coordinates, accurate to millimeters."

CNN reported that the telescope's precision will give scientists a chance to detect faint pulsars in the Milky Way and other galaxies. The telescope could also be a ground station for space missions in the future.

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China is making the world's largest radio telescope that, when finished, will help us understand the universe better and could even help find potential signs of life on other planets.
china, making, largest, telescope, alien, life
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2015-47-13
Tuesday, 13 Oct 2015 09:47 AM
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