The world's largest alien finder is now open to visitors

The world's largest alien finder is now open to visitors
The Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) in operation in Pingtang, in southwestern China's Guizhou province.
PHOTO: FAST

You can probably have the most epic view of cosmic objects in outer space through an astonishingly huge telescope soon.

The world's largest radio telescope, China's Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (Fast) in the southwest Chinese province of Guizhou, is now open to the public.

Spanning the size of 30 football fields, it's the world largest single-aperture telescope, reported Space.com.

In a video on how the massive telescope was built, Peng Bo, a vice manager with Fast, said: "If we fill the big dish with wine, everybody in the world could have four bottles of wine."

Interesting analogy.

Photo: FAST


Engineers completed the telescope last year at a cost of 700 million yuan (about S$143 million).

It has the ability to see much further than the previous record-holder for size, the 300-metre-wide Aricebo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

With a gargantuan ear tuning for sounds of extraterrestrial life, it can pick up electromagnetic signals 137 light years away.

The number of visitors allowed to visit Fast will be limited at 2,000 per day, reported Sohu News. Admission is free for now.

Read also: ET phone home: China hunts for alien life with giant telescope

FAST is located at a great depression with a diameter of about 800 m at 25°.647N and 106°.856E, which is about 170 km by road from the provincial capital Guiyang, near the village of Dawodang, in Guizhou province.Guizhou adjoins Sichuan province to the north, Yunnan province to the west, Guangxi province to the south and Hunan province to the east.Photo: FAST

Fast began construction in 2011 and went live on September 25, 2016, reported Shanghaiist.

Don't keep your hopes up on discovering any forms of alien life forms just yet though. This is because scientists are still running tests and fixing bugs on Fast which could take a few years.

But in that slim chance that you do find any aliens, you probably won't be able to document it for yourself.

Visitors are prohibited from bringing electronic products including smart phones, digital cameras and intelligent bracelets into the premises in order to prevent radio interference. Mobile signals will also be blocked within a 5km range of the telescope.

chenj@sph.com.sg



Read also: Why is a galaxy sending us radio waves

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