The last piece of the 4,450 panels that make up the great disk of the largest radio telescope in the world, the FAST (500-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope), has finally been put in place, thus completing the installation in a karst valley in Pingtang County, of the southwestern province of Guizhou, China.
Construction of the FAST telescope began in March 2011 . The telescope is already the world’s largest of its kind, surpassing the one at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico , which is 300 meters in diameter.
The unprecedented precision of this device will allow astronomers to detect weak pulsars and will naturally improve efficiency in searching for signs of extraterrestrial life . Furthermore, the array can also function as a powerful ground station for future space missions.
This project is part of Beijing’s ambitious space exploration plan, which includes putting a space station into orbit by 2020. For its operation, it is necessary to clean five kilometers around the gigantic infrastructure, so the Chinese government will give financial compensation to residents .
Via | EuropaPress