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It’s no secret that lately, more and more people are manifesting increased interest towards discovering alien intelligence. From top scientists and researchers to planet’s billionaires, all share the same goal: the discovery of intelligent ALIEN life.
Acknowledging the extreme importance of such a discovery, the Chinese are now entering the race and since the competition is really tight, they want to make sure that they’ll build the biggest telescope so far.
With the Chinese telescope being ready in 2016, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico will lose its current title as the largest single aperture radio telescope in the world, having its competitor surveying the outer space ten times more efficient.
FAST will remain the best in the world in the next twenty or thirty years after it is completed – Li Di, chief scientist of the National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Science
The Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, also known as FAST, will have a total diameter equivalent to 30 football pitches, and will be able to collect radio signals from nearby galaxies. If there are any signals coming from advanced alien species out there, FAST will surely detect them and let us know about it.
Construction of the megalithic telescope started in March 2011 and will be ready for use in 2016. The cost of this astronomical project is approximated at about 170 million $ or 1.2 billion Yuan, making it the biggest astronomy structure China has ever had.
Scientists from different fields, including astronomers, physicists and geologists embraced the idea of the new telescope as it will further increase the human capacity to listen into outer space.
Since everyone is so anxious when it comes to this fabulous creation, the Chinese are willing to let any scientist interested in the potential of the telescope use it, and as Li Di stated:
We are aiming to discovering something that is worthy of a Nobel Prize. Although we built the telescope, we welcome scientists from all around the world use it.
FAST can answer questions not only limited to astronomy but questions about humanity and nature. The scientific potential of this telescope is hard to predict.
In search for the right spot for the colossus, researchers scouted more than 30 locations until they decided upon the natural Dawodang Depression. This isolated area is home of 56 people, but they are incredibly proud of the grand construction which, after all, it doesn’t impact the environment nor the residents lives.
The telescope is made up of 4,450 reflective panels, with the size of the dish as wide as 30 football fields. Every reflective panel is tied up by a cable in order to control its coordinates. Because of its circular design, scientists will be able to receive radio signals from different angles.
The biggest challenge of this project is to calculate quickly and attach these data to thousands of computers to change the direction of such a gigantic telescope.
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It remains to be seen if the Chinese will be the first who break the ice and discover conclusive evidence regarding alien intelligence in space using this giant telescope.
Judging by their determination and ambition, it’s likely that they will succeed, but until the time comes, humanity has to carefully prepare in order to wisely respond to any alien encounters it might come across.