Monday World’s largest telescope starts operating
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)