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World's largest radio telescope

  • Posted By
    10Pointer
  • Categories
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    31st Dec, 2020

Context

  • The world’s largest radio telescope, the Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope or FAST has been installed in Pingtang in China's Guizhou province.

What is the FAST Telescope?

  • Work on FAST began in 2011 and it started full operations in January 2020.
  • It is about to open its doors for foreign astronomers.
  • It cost 1.1 billion yuan to build.
  • FAST boasts of a 500-metre giant satellite dish, the size of which can cover the area of 30 football pitches.
  • This is also the world's largest.
  • FAST is surrounded by a five-kilometre “radio silence” zone where mobile phones and computers are not allowed.
  • FAST mainly captures radio signals emitted by celestial bodies. In particular, pulsars which are rapidly rotating dead stars.
  • It has a novel design, using an active surface made of metal panels that can be automatically tilted to help change the focus to different areas of the sky.

Significance

  • The data collected should help understand of the origins of the universe.
  • It could also aid in the search for alien life.