FAST in Pingtang

With a diameter the size of 30 US football fields, China‘s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) -- nicknamed the Eye of Heaven -- is the world‘s largest single-dish radio telescope.

While it wasn‘t built for the purpose of seeking extraterritorial life, FAST‘s uber sensitivity and size mean it‘ll likely be the site of Earth‘s first contact with aliens. In fact, they‘re already searching for them.

Located in the lush natural basin of Guizhou‘s Dawodang Depression, FAST has already identified 11 pulsars -- rotating neutron stars that are essential to answering questions about the universe.

FAST was completed in 2016. Its remote location was one of 400 places scientists surveyed over 10 years.
Why Guizhou? The egg-cup shaped valley is perfectly sized and the surrounding mountains provide a shield against radio frequency interference.
Though travelers can‘t visit the telescope, a 300-hectare Astronomy Science Tourism Park is planned for Hang Lung Village, five kilometers from FAST.

The park will feature 15 different astronomy-themed projects including a FAST visitor center, a dark sky park and an astronomical time village.


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