China is on track to have the world’s largest telescope, as large as 30 football fields, installed in its southwest. The installation process, due for completion in 2016, is being undertaken in Pingtang County of Guizhou Province.
The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), which is basically a bigger clone of the US Arecibo Observatory (305 meter), has undergone five years of construction and takes shape with the spherical edge constructed out of 5,600 tons of steel beams.
Nan Rendong, the project’s chief scientist, said, “With larger diameter and higher accuracy, the telescope will better detect more distant and dim celestial bodies. The good thing is that we will observe more samples from which we can discover more strange astronomical phenomena.”
According to Li Di, chief scientist of the National Astronomy Observatory of China, the US Arecibo Observatory is to be outdone by FAST, whose observation sensitivity upon completion will be two times larger than the American radio telescope.