Chinese astronomers have been testing its huge alien-hunting radio telescope from over the last three years. Now, the telescope’s commissioning phase is going to end soon.
The telescope, named on the basis of its aperture size, FAST (Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope) is established in southern China’s Guizhou.
Cosmologists are using FAST—the globally largest single-dish radio telescope—particularly for exploring extraterrestrial intelligence. As per media reports, FAST has, so far, precisely detected and identified 99 swiftly spinning neutron stars, out of which over 30 were extremely fast-rotating pulsars.
The hunt for extraterrestrial life and other scientific objectives is still in progress.
A user training session was organized by the FAST team, in which over 100 planetary scientists from worldwide were invited to converse their discoveries and experiences during the testing period of the telescope.
A scientist from Peking University, Li Kejia, told that FAST is currently being used to study a pulsar, measure its performance, and detection of gravitational waves. After using FAST, the facility’s observation modes have been increased from three to more than 10.
On a related note, telescopes having bigger objective lenses have better vision. This condition is applicable on Earth as well as in space. Although engineers and astronomers are successful in designing huge telescopes with remarkable magnifying power, the major problem arises in launching the giant infrastructure securely in space.
So far, scientists have come up with a few solutions, such as developing a foldable telescope, which they can pack into a payload with limited capacity, or carrying the hardware in space and assembling it there only.
Scientists have designed James Webb Space Telescope with the primary mirror aperture of 6.5 Meter. The team would fit the telescope (mirror and sunshield) into a single payload and launch it into Ariane 5 rocket.