Final panel added to China's FAST radio telescope
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
On Sunday,announced the attachment of the final panel to its telescope named (FAST). This piece marks the end of a five-year-long 180 million ( 1.2 billion) construction project.
FAST comprises about 4,500 panels and spans a diameter of 500(about 1640 ). The telescope is part of a series of ventures into space exploration by China, including planning another robotic mission and creating , with its core module set to be launched into space in 2018. With the country's founding centenary coming in 2049, President said during a conference, "great scientific and technological capacity is a must for China to be strong".
In order to achieve optimal electromagnetic performance for FAST with minimal signal interference, it was built in the. This ultimately forced the relocation of about 9,100 inhabitants within a 3.1-mile (5km) radius of the telescope. The residents received about US$1,800 (CNY¥12,000) in reimbursement, with those experiencing difficulties with housing receiving about US$1,500 (CNY¥10,000) in extra compensation. The Chinese government supports the resettlement, with senior party official Li Yuecheng saying the relocation would provide a "sound electromagnetic wave environment".
The telescope is now the largest-diameter single-dish. It took the spot from the 305-meter diameter telescope in . 's multi-element radio telescope has a diameter of 576 meters. This adds to China's record-defying achievements; it contains the and the world's longest wall, the .
The telescope is set to be ready for use in September. Its possible uses include exploration for, a special type of detected through their emission of . Scientists have also described the telescope's potential to explore , with NAO Radio Astronomy Technology Laboratory director Peng Bo saying FAST's "potential to discover an alien civilization will be 5 to 10 times that of current equipment, as it can see farther and darker planets".
- Samantha Cole. "China Finishes Contruction On Its Giant Alien-Hunting Telescope" — , July 5, 2016
- Neel V. Patel. "China Has Built the World's Largest Alien-Hunting Telescope" — , July 5, 2016
- "China fits final piece on world's largest radio telescope" — , July 4, 2016
- Charlie Campbell. "China to Hunt for Alien Life With World’s Biggest Radio Telescope" — , July 4, 2016
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