Good news for astronomers around the world! China has indeed decided to open its giant FAST radio telescope to the world scientific community! The info was reported by China's Global Times which indicated that the device will be open to everyone from April 1.
“Our scientific committee aims to make FAST more and more open to the international community , ” said Wang Qiming, head of the FAST operations and development center, proudly. As of this year, foreign scientists will be able to visit the site to use the radio telescope and carry out their research.
More details were reported by the national news agency Xinhua, especially regarding the "registrations" to be able to use the radio telescope. Applications are already open online at the Chinese National Astronomical Observatories.
It has been announced that observation hours will not begin to be distributed until the beginning of August, time to review and organize applications. For this year, China plans to grant foreign astronomers about 10% of the observation time of its radio telescope.
The world's largest FAST telescope
Built between 2011 and 2016 in a natural basin in Pingtang County, China, the gigantic “Sky Eye” satellite dish can boast of being the largest spherical aperture radio telescope (FAST) in the world, but also one of the more powerful. With its impressive diameter of 500 m, this giant dish also promises a larger and better quality of observation.
With such performance, the juggernaut was primarily thought to help spot pulsars and other astronomical energetic targets. The radio telescope has been fully operational since January 11, 2020, and since then has more than 240 imaged pulsars to its credit.
Read also: FAST will go hunting for aliens
Good news for alien hunters
For the global scientific community, this decision by China is a real relief. Indeed since the giant GoldenEye radio telescope of Arecibo collapsed, that of Pingtang is now the only one large enough and which offers all the power necessary to allow astronomers to "explore" the depths of the galaxy from Earth. .
The giant parable should also make it possible to detect signals of extraterrestrial origin and (who knows?) Finally find proof that there are other intelligent civilizations elsewhere in the Universe!
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