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China Gives Finishing Touches to the World’s Largest Radio Telescope to Detect Alien Life

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The largest radio telescope in the world is nearing completion in China. The telescope has been designed to look for any indications and signs of alien life.

The search for alien life is emphasized after the recent discovery of ‘Earth 2.0’ by NASA using the Kepler space telescope that is used to hunt planets. The construction for this large radio telescope is being carried out in Guizhou province of China in the deep mountains. And its building started in March 2011 and is expected to finish by early 2016. The telescope’s reflector has a 500 meters diameter and consists of 4,450 panels with each being an equilateral triangle that measures 11 metres on each side.

This spherical single aperture telescope is to be termed FAST on completion. FAST will surpass the 305 meters in diameter measuring Arecibo Observatory situated in Puerto Rico as the largest telescope as the largest radio telescope in the world.

Chief Scientist of FAST, Nan Rendong, who works for National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences briefed that the capability of the telescope increases with the greater diameter of the dish and it can receive weaker messages too. He further elaborated a radio telescope being similar to a sensitive ear that can pick radio messages that are meaningful from the universe’s white noise, just like listening to cicadas sounds in the thunderstorm.

Chinese Astronomical Society’s director general, Wu Xiangping lamented that the Chinese scientists for long had to rely on “second hand” information to work on finding a breakthrough and were often unsuccessful. However with China’s own new telescope having greater sensitivity that can pick more distant and weaker messages they quest for intelligent life outside the galaxy seems possible. The telescope will also help explore and unravel the origins of the universe.


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