Times when space exploration was onlytwo states on Earth are long over. Today, countries such as Israel and India have entered the space race. And China, which is sometimes called the third largest space superpower in the world after the United States and Russia, has achieved amazing results. So, after three years of complex construction, the PRC invites astronomers from all over the world to conduct research using a new radio telescope with a diameter of 500 meters called “Spherical Radio Telescope with a Five Hundred Aperture” (FAST). Now the Chinese astronomical observatory is the largest in the world.
China Space Program
You may not have known this, but the cosmicChina’s program was laid back in 1956, and the first Chinese satellite set off to plow space in the 1970s. Today, China launches into space interplanetary stations (AMS) to the satellite of our planet, has a variety of launch vehicles, as well as almost all types of applied satellites. Over 40 years, more than a hundred satellites were launched into space as part of the PRC space program. China is also developing an AMS for flying to Mars.
Recently, Nature magazine wrote that afterAfter three years of grueling work, China is launching the world's largest single-plate radio telescope. And this can not but rejoice. In the end, science and research is what unites people all over the world, blurring the boundaries between countries. And when it comes to new opportunities for exploring our space home, full of secrets and amazing discoveries, it is simply impossible to hide the joy.
Let's discuss with the participants of our Telegram chat, will the new radio telescope be able to detect traces of intelligent civilizations?
According to Nature, FAST will scan twicea larger area than the radio telescope of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. A Chinese radio telescope can detect even the faintest radio waves coming from celestial objects such as pulsars and entire galaxies. Also, experts do not exclude that it can be used to detect distant worlds on which life can exist.
The largest radio telescope on Earth
The world's largest astronomical observatorylocated in the distance in the south-west of China, which greatly complicated its construction. Construction began in 2011. For five years, engineers were able to build a 500-meter plate, consisting of 4400 aluminum panels. The cost of building the largest radio telescope on our planet amounted to $ 180 million.
Note that before the discovery of this astronomicalObservatory, the largest in the world was a radio telescope located in the Arecibo Astronomical Observatory in Puerto Rico, which was built in 1963. The diameter of the Arecibo radio telescope is 304.8 meters. Thanks to his work, a huge number of important astronomical discoveries were made. In 2017, Hurricane Maria broke a 29-meter radio telescope antenna. Its wreckage severely damaged the main and auxiliary mirrors of the telescope, but the observatory soon resumed its work.
Chinese radio telescope can significantlyaccelerate the discovery of a variety of cosmic phenomena. For example, during testing alone, FAST detected more than 100 pulsars. According to NASA, until 2017, scientists knew only 2,000 pulsars. It is scary to imagine how many more pulsars in the near future this radio telescope will detect. Also on his account is the discovery of hundreds of fast radio bursts coming from an unknown source. FAST is able to catch even a weak signal that other radio telescopes do not notice.
Read more about radio bursts on our channel in Yandex.Zen.
Scientists also note that the largestA radio telescope in the world will be able to detect distant exoplanets only by their radio emission. We hope this will happen in the very near future. At the same time, do not forget that working with FAST is not without problems - so, the main problem is to store an incredibly large amount of data that this radio telescope will collect in the next few years.