China’s $185 Million Alien-Hunting Telescope
If you consider yourself a believer in aliens you are far from alone. Apparently, you have the whole Chinese government on your side.
China has just finished building the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world. It spans out over a massive space, big enough to fit 30 football fields. It took five years to build and is found in the southwest province of Guizhou.
The telescope, nicknamed FAST, has been planned to explore some of the furthest and most mysterious objects in space. The director of the NAO Radio Astronomy Technology Lab, Peng Bo, claims FAST will have a far greater potential to discover alien civilization, around 5 to 10 times more, than current technology.
Aside from technological developments, FAST is strategically built into a natural depression, allowing its state of the art receivers to capture weaker signals from space as it is protected from electromagnet interference. After FAST undergoes debugging for the next few months, it will be focused on looking for neutral hydrogen in the Milky Way, pulsars, which in simple terms are rotating stars emitting electromagnetic radiation, and detecting signals from possible civilizations.
Regardless of the potential scientific discoveries, there has been some loss and displacement for the local residents. More than 9,000 residents were relocated to clear the way for the telescope area and to ensure houses and technology did not interfere with the operation of FAST.
Photo credits: Xinhua/Jin Liwang