Tags: China | telescope | space | alien | life | science | research

China Launches World's Biggest Telescope in Hunt for Alien Life

a telescope in outer space
(AP)

By    |   Thursday, 23 January 2020 10:38 PM

The world's largest radio telescope, which is hoped to help space research and the hunt for extraterrestrial life, is now fully operational.

Known as the Five-hundred-Meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) – and nicknamed "Eye of the Sky" or "Eye of Heaven" – the facility, located in a deep depression in southwest China's Guizhou province, began trial operations in September 2016.

It will now gradually become available for use by astronomers from around the world, Chinese state media Xinhua has reported.

The telescope consists of a single dish, which has a diameter equivalent to 30 football fields. 

According to Chinese officials, FAST is around 2.5 times more sensitive than the previous largest telescope in the world — the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico — and can process up to 38 gigabytes of information every second, Newsweek reported.

All together, FAST has expanded the range of space that telescopes can investigate, providing unprecedented opportunities to study astronomical phenomena, Li Kejia from the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University told Xinhua.

Advancing China's space program is a priority for Beijing, and the country has set a target to catch up with Russia and the United States and become a major space power by 2030, Reuters reported.

Beijing plans to launch construction of its own manned space station next year, the news agency added.

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The world's largest radio telescope, which is hoped to help space research and the hunt for extraterrestrial life, is now fully operational.
telescope, space, alien, life, science, research
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2020-38-23
Thursday, 23 January 2020 10:38 PM
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