China will have a new radio telescope to “listen” to the universe that trumps its 500-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope completed in 2016. The Chinese government has approved a plan to build the giant radio telescope in Qitai County, in the far western region of Xinjiang. Chinese scientists claim that the device, named the QTT, will be the world’s largest steerable radio telescope.
Some strange signals have been found recently by the FAST (below), “but it’s hard to confirm their origins, because these signals do not repeat,” says Li Di, chief scientist of China’s new FAST Radio telescope. “We look for not only television signals, but also atomic bomb signals. We’ll give full play to our imaginations when processing the signals,” Li says. “It’s a complete exploration, as we don’t know what an alien is like.”
With a dish the size of 30 football fields, China’s new FAST radio telescope, which measures 500 meters in diameter, dwarfs Puerto Rico’s 300-meter Arecibo Observatory. Having the world’s largest and most powerful new radio telescope, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), “We can receive weaker and more distant radio messages,” said Wu Xiangping, director-general of the Chinese Astronomical Society, “It will help us to search for intelligent life outside of the galaxy and explore the origins of the universe,” he added underscoring the China’s race to be the first nation to discover the existence of an advanced alien civilization.
The world’s largest fully steerable single-dish radio telescope will be built in Qitai County in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The telescope will be 110 meters in diameter, over 100 meters tall and weigh around 6,000 tonnes. Scheduled to go into service in 2023, it will cover three-fourths of the sky.
“The antenna, the world’s largest, will be able to trace the origins of any signals received,” said Song Huagang of the Chinese Academy of Science Xinjiang observatory. The telescope will operate at 150 MHz to 115 GHz and assist research on gravitational waves, black holes and dark matter. The Xinjiang observatory is currently equipped with a 25-meter radio telescope. The new telescope will be roughly 20 times bigger.
The new site in Shihezi is a sparsely populated foothill of Tianshan Mountains in northeast Xinjiang. The mountain ranges surrounding the site will shield the telescope from electromagnetic noise.
Besides the planned telescope, China is already planning or completed impressive astronomical telescopes. In 2016, the 500-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope, went into service in southwest China’s Guizhou Province. China’s largest optical telescope, at 12 meters, is expected to be built in Tibet Autonomous Region. The project is included in China’s large-scale sci-tech infrastructure plan for 2016 to 2020. (Xinhua).
The Daily Galaxy via Chinese Academy of Sciences
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