China is moving forward with their scientific endeavors by making the largest radio telescope known to man through their space program. The construction of the world's largest telescope, which will be called the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), will be pioneered by the military.
The telescope is almost complete and if finished, will span the size of 30 football fields. It will be used to search for potential life in other planets, according to CNN. It will detect radio signals emitted by planets that could be in other solar systems.
With its reflector dish spanning 500 meters in diameter, it will replace the present largest radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, which is only 300 meters in diameter, according to Independent UK.
Nan Rendong, the chief scientist for the project who works with the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that the wider reflector dish will enable the telescope to be more effective in picking up radio signals.
"A radio telescope is like a sensitive ear, listening to tell meaningful radio messages from white noise in the universe. It is like identifying the sound of cicadas in a thunderstorm," Nan said, according to Xinhua News.
The telescope is being built in the southern region of Guizhou.
"There are three hills about 500 meters away from one another, creating a valley that is perfect to support the telescope," according to chief engineer Sun Caihong.
China began the construction in March 2011 and is expected to be done by 2016.