China Is Building the World's Largest Telescope to Begin Searching for Alien Life Next Year

Tuesday, 06 October 2015 - 3:38PM
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Astronomy
Alien Life
Tuesday, 06 October 2015 - 3:38PM
China Is Building the World's Largest Telescope to Begin Searching for Alien Life Next Year
China is rapidly coming to the end of construction for the largest telescope in the world, which will begin searching for alien life with a greater range than ever before as early as next year. 



The Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) is currently being built in China's Guizhou province. FAST is, true to its name, a 500-meter telescope, for which the dish alone is the size of 30 football fields. The dish consists of 4,450 triangular reflectors, which are 36 feet long on each side. 

When it is finally built, it will not only be the largest radio telescope in the world right now, but the most sensitive, up to three times more sensitive than the Arecibo Observatory, which is currently the world's largest telescope. FAST will have the ability to detect radio signals tens of billions of light years away from Earth, making it a prime candidate to search for alien life. SETI's most recent plans in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence after the $100 million cash infusion from the Breakthrough Listen project heavily focus on listening for radio signals. And since they were sadly denied usage of the Arecibo Observatory, FAST may be the answer for a comprehensive search for alien life.

FAST was first proposed in 1994, and was finally approved in 2008 to begin construction in 2011. After four years, they're on track to finish the telescope by the projected completion date of September 2016, at which time FAST can join the search for extraterrestrial intelligence in earnest.

Via Tech Insider.
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