The future largest radio telescope in the world takes shape. The Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), launched in late July 2015, should even be ready in 2016, if one believes the Chinese media, which just released new photos and a new video of the progress:
This awesome feature will allow to “look for life outside the galaxy, and explore the dark matter” better than any other terrestrial radio telescopes, says South China Morning Post
It will have a “supercomputer capable of processing a huge amount of data at very high speed,” the Hong Kong daily.
With a diameter of 500 meters, the reflector, of course supported by three hills, has to cover the equivalent of 30 football fields. It will surpass in size the current “largest radio telescope in the world” based, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico (300 meters diameter).
Housed in one of China’s poorest provinces, cost stirs controversy in the country, noted last August Courrier International. The price of the radio telescope itself was not revealed by the authorities, but critics designed the calculator. Because China already hosts the most powerful in the world, Tianhe-2, which consumes about 59,000 euros per day of electricity and had cost 370 million euros.
The development of this “super telescope” will enable Chinese scientists to work with their own data, without having to go through the data obtained by other countries.
Last July, the Russian businessman Yuri Milner was also launching a project, albeit more modest, attempt to find extraterrestrial life.
The billionaire has recently put $ 100 million on the table to give all means to the famous astrophysicist Stephen Hawking to answer the existential question: “Are we alone in the universe? A quest that continues to fascinate scientists and neophytes.