The last piece of the 4,450 panels that form the great disk of the largest radio telescope in the world, the FAST (500-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope), has finally been placed, thus completing the installation in a karst valley in Pingtang County, in the southwestern province of Guizhou, China.
The construction of the FAST telescope began in March 2011. The telescope is already the largest in the world of its kind, surpassing the one that exists in the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, which is 300 meters in diameter.
The unprecedented accuracy of this device will allow astronomers to detect weak pulsars and will naturally improve the search efficiency of signs of extraterrestrial life. In addition, the matrix can also function as a powerful ground station for future space missions.
This project is part of Beijing's ambitious space exploration plan, which includes putting a space station into orbit by 2020. For its operation it is necessary to clean five kilometers around the gigantic infrastructure, so the Chinese government will give financial compensation to residents.