World China now holds the world's last giant, single-dish telescope after the Arecibo Observatory radio telescope collapsed

06:15  05 december  2020
06:15  05 december  2020 Source:   businessinsider.com.au

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China 's FAST telescope is now the world ' s most powerful radio telescope . The 500 meter dish has already discovered 130 new pulsars. The telescope , called FAST (Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope ) has double the collecting power of the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto

The single - dish radio telescope is made of 4,450 individual panels that scan the sky, detecting the universe's whispers and shouts. It's cradled in a natural Earth depression the size of 30 soccer fields. It has more than twice the collecting area of the world ' s previous largest radio telescope , the

a view of a large mountain in the background with Arecibo Observatory in the background: China's 500-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST). China's 500-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST).
  • China's Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) is the largest and last remaining giant, single-dish telescope after Arecibo's collapse.
  • As China's moon mission advances, experts say the via its resolution and sensitivity, the FAST telescope will help produce critical research over the next decades.
  • Opened in 2016, in November, Chinese state media reported that FAST could welcome foreign scientists in 2021.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

After tragedy struck the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, the scientific community mourned the loss of an astronomical landmark.

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Scientists and Puerto Ricans mourn loss of historic observatory that had been set to close after damage in August.

The collapse of the world ' s largest radio telescope in Arecibo , Puerto Rico, is a real blow to the island's scientific community. Génesis Ferrer had dreamed of working in the Arecibo Observatory ever since she first met some of its astrophysicists during a high school trip in Puerto Rico.

There is now only one last remaining giant, single-dish, radio telescope in the world: China's 500-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST).

Completed in 2016 and located in the Guizhou province of southwest China, the observatory cost$US171 million and took about half a decade to build. Its sheer size allows it to detect faint radio-waves from pulsars and materials in galaxies far away; 300 of its 500-metre diameter can be used at any one time.

Experts say that in the next decade, FAST is expected to shine in terms of studying the origins of supermassive black holes or identifying faint radio waves to understand the characteristics of planets outside the solar system.

In November, Chinese state media reported that in 2021, the FAST facility would become open to use for foreign scientists.

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China ’ s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) and Arecibo were widely viewed as Earth’ s ‘two big eyes,’ and were specifically tasked with monitoring these signals on a 24-hour basis, given their locations on opposite sides of the planet. The Chinese facility will now bear

Losing Arecibo means getting telescope time is now going to be that much more competitive. I once visited the world ’ s largest radio telescope in Araceibo, Puerto Rico, and they search for It’s so large a telescope it’s basically a dish suspended in round valley. And underneath the dish there’s pasture

The National Astronomical Observatory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which oversees FAST, did not immediately respond to comment.

a stop sign: Before and after shots of the Arecibo telescope. Before and after shots of the Arecibo telescope.

There were some functions that Arecibo's telescope could do that FAST can't, however.

"For observation within the solar system, Arecibo was able to transmit signals and receive their reflections from planets, a function that FAST isn't able to complete on its own. The feature allowed Arecibo to facilitate monitoring of near-Earth asteroids, which is important in defending the Earth from space threats," Liu Boyang, a researcher in radio astronomy at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, University of Western Australia, told the South China Morning Post.

As Business Insider reported earlier in the week, China has made significant strides within the space race as the US has suffered a setback.

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