The search for alien life will soon be joined by China as it inaugurates its first 500-meter radio telescope, as one of the many devices on earth scouring the universe for a radio signal from out there.
Just like others in the international community of astrophysicists, astronomers, and others, now China is going to add more eyes and ears as they help answer the question. Is human civilization the only one or are there more finding us in the wide expanse of the universe? This is the question that China intends to address, reported India Times.
All over the world, there are several telescopes in operation that are actively seeking or scanning parts of the universe. The types range from optical telescopes based on earth, radio-telescopes that can be on earth or in space, infrared telescopes that are in high altitude or space. Then there are ultra-violet, X-ray, gamma-ray telescopes that need to be at higher altitudes or in space.
Using these kinds of telescopes, scientists can look for alien life with several spectrums of energies to look into space better. China's telescope is ready for this purpose.
According to reports, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) reported in Science Alert made by China is slated to start operation in September, confirmed by the state media Science and Technology Daily as it announced China's official entry into space exploration.
In January, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) of China was featured. Still, the system is not yet complete with upgrades to be accomplished, especially to lessen interference from space sources to improve its search capacity. Full operational status should be achieved by September.
China Tech City said that the system will be a great additional to SETI (Search Extraterrestrial Intelligence) into the far reaches of the universe. It will also be instrumental in gathering data of universal and the mysteries of the cosmos, from unknow black holes, nebulas, pulsars and far away galaxies.
Its specifications are the size of the telescope is 500 meters, but the system works by focusing on the 300-meter part of the radio telescope at a certain time. So, it works by scanning a limited section of the sky at intervals.
But that will change when it is scanning section that can cover twice the swathe, which the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico can do. For a time, the Arecibo had the largest aperture of any radio telescope on the planet.
The China FAST has the initial proposals in 1994, with approval in 2007 and the huge radio telescope was made at the cost of $270 million before completion.
The immense structure is composed of 4,500 36-foot triangular segments to make up the dish-like structure. Now, the retina that is used for focusing is 33-tons and hanging at 460 feet and 525 feet in the air which is similar to the Arecibo in Peru.
The location of the radio telescope is the Pingtang County at Guizhhuo in southwest China. Though there were people relocated from 65 to 9000 people from nearby villages in the region.
The chief scientist, Li Di, from the National Astronomical Observatories stated in an interview with China Daily that mankind will explore the unknown as its very nature, adding that it makes a greater future.