FAST – The Gigantic Telescope
FAST, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope has been nicknamed ‘the Sky Eye’. 22 years in the building, it went into service on 25th September 2016. The project has been wholly developed by China, and to date is the most sensitive radio telescope in the world and heralds a new era in space exploration.
FAST is located in Guizhou, China. The karst topography in the Dawodang depression, a natural basin in Pingtang County, was an ideal site for the construction of such a gigantic astronomical telescope.
The dish is as big as 30 standard soccer fields. Its sensitivity is ten times greater than the 100-meter telescope in Bonn, Germany, and 2.25 times greater than the Arecibo 300 meter telescope in the US. Scientists predict that FAST will maintain its top position as a world-class facility for the next 10 to 20 years.
After just one year of service, FAST has already confirmed the existence of a number of pulsars, bringing mankind’s exploration of outer space one step closer.
One of the missions of FAST is the search for extraterrestrial civilizations. Are we on the brink of finding clues proving the existence of alien lives through this gigantic “Sky Eye”? Very possibly.