China Building World's Biggest Radio Telescope

China has broken ground on the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), a massive bowl-shaped radio signal collector that will be the world’s most sensitive when it opens for business in 2016.

FAST will be able to see three times further in to space than Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory, the current largest radio telescope, scanning larger sections of the sky and processing the data more quickly.

FAST’s dish will focus the radio signals, using a subset of the dish’s 4,400 triangular aluminum panels to form a roughly 1,000-foot parabolic mirror, nearly the size of the entire Arecibo dish, within the larger bowl. This dish-within-a-dish can be formed anywhere across the larger bowl, allowing FAST to examine more of the sky.

Learn more from Popular Science.

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