China’s construction of soon-to-be the world’s largest radio telescope was the highlight of many science reports last week.

Ein Chinalee

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China’s construction of soon-to-be the world’s largest radio telescope was the highlight of many science reports last week.

Western media including the New York Times quoted China’s Xinhua News Agency as saying that more than 9,000 residents in Pingtang and Luodian counties in Guizhou province will be relocated to clear for land used for the radio telescope. The purpose of the equipment is to find signals of advanced alien life.

The FAST, short for 500-meter aperture spherical telescope, costs about 184 million U.S. dollars to build and will be finished in September. It is made up of 4,500 mostly triangular panels that measure about 36 feet on the side, and they create a massive parabolic dish.

The relocation of the 2,000 families within 5 kilometers of the telescope would create a sound electromagnetic wave environment for its performance. The Chinese government will give each person 1,800 dollars for housing compensation.

Upon completion, the telescope will be the world’s largest of its kind, overtaking Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory, which is 300 meters in diameter.

A report from the Times said the FAST project should be able to pick up all kinds of radio signals more clearly from sources “much farther away” than the Arecibo dish to search for signals near the Tabby’s star.

 

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