World Largest Telescope – FAST
China is making the world largest telescope with an enormous 500 meter (1640 feet) wide dish which is bigger than 30 football grounds. The telescope can be able to detect radio as well as life signals from distant planets. The biggest telescope will be finished by this week.
President of METI International, Douglas Vakoch said that the biggest and latest telescope will be able to look faster and advance than past explorations for extraterrestrial intelligence.
The largest telescope is located in a Karst hollow in the mountain landscape of Southwest China. Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) starts operation on September 25.
It will be amazing when this telescope takes first pictures of the universe. FAST is almost twice bigger than the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico.
In diameter Russia’s RATAN-600 is larger than FAST but it is not one single dish and its collection area is much smaller than FAST and Arecibo telescope.
This mega project began in 2011 with $185 million and this telescope contains 4450 triangular panels that form the dish. Each of the panels can be adjusted. The surface to point at certain points in the sky can be control.
Scientists surveyed more than 400 places over 10 years to locate this telescope. Finally found the egg-cup shaped valley in China‘s Guizhou province which is perfectly sized and the surrounding mountains provide a protection against radio frequency interference.
The telescope is likely to shed light on the origins of the universe by mapping the distribution of hydrogen.
Due to incredible sensitivity of FAST, it can able to graph the hydrogen distribution even in far galaxies said Vakoch.
This telescope will also help scientists to detect many more pulsars. Scientists can use this telescope to detect gravitational waves also.
The most important part of this biggest telescope is to search for extraterrestrial life. Due to high sensitivity of this telescope, it will be capable of detecting exoplanets easily.
It has 10 times more power to discover an alien or UFO than current equipment we have. Vakoch says, “FAST may help to clarify the origin of the universe and the structure of the cosmos but it cannot give warning to earth –bound asteroids.”
Chinese astronomers will be given priority on the telescope and this telescope will be opened to international scientists after 2-3 years.