Mon­day World’s largest tele­scope starts op­er­at­ing

China Daily (USA) - - NEWS CAPSULE NEWS IN REVIEW -

The world’s big­gest tele­scope — China’s 500-me­ter Aper­ture Spher­i­cal Tele­scope, known as FAST — has started op­er­at­ing.

The sin­gle-aper­ture tele­scope was of­fi­cially opened on Sun­day. It is the size of 30 soc­cer fields, and is in Guizhou province in south­west­ern China. The fa­cil­ity dwarfs the for­mer record holder, the Arecibo Ob­ser­va­tory in Puerto Rico with a di­am­e­ter of 305m.

FAST will search for grav­i­ta­tional waves, de­tect ra­dio emis­sions from stars and gal­ax­ies, and lis­ten for signs of in­tel­li­gent ex­trater­res­trial life, sci­en­tists said.

“The ul­ti­mate goal of FAST is to dis­cover the laws of the de­vel­op­ment of the uni­verse,” said Qian Lei, an as­so­ciate re­searcher with the Na­tional Astro­nom­i­cal Ob­ser­va­tion, part of the Chi­nese Academy of Sciences, which built the tele­scope.

Zhang Shuxin, deputy gen­eral man­ager of the project, said for­eign sci­en­tists can con­duct their own space re­search at FAST once de­bug­ging is com­pleted. (Photo 1)

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