Operations have begun in China with the largest radio telescope in the world which was built to help better understand the origins of the universe and search for extraterrestrial life.
China has been making progress to claim its mark in the space-tech industry. Just recently it launched it’s second space station.
According to Xinhua News Agency, hundreds of astronomers and enthusiasts attended Sunday’s launch of the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST).
Researchers were quoted by state media that FAST would search for gravitational waves, detect radio emissions from stars and galaxies and listen for signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life.
The telescope, which resides in the south of China’s Guizhou province, measures 500 meters in diameter and is nestled in a lush green karst landscape.
Nicknamed Tianyan (the Eye of Heaven), its construction took five years and cost $180 million.
The telescope is said to be able to accurately image twice as much the sky as the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico with double sensitivity and five to 10 times the surveying speed.