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Space China

China's Giant Radio Telescope Begins Searching For Signals From Space (ctvnews.ca) 49

Years of work and millions of dollars later, China finished its alien-hunting telescope in May this year. Now the country says its telescope has begun its operation. The company flipped the switch over the weekend, hoping to find signals from stars and galaxies -- and more importantly from extraterrestrial life. The telescope also illustrates China's growing ambition to stay among the frontrunners in space efforts. AP reports: Beijing has poured billions into such ambitious scientific projects as well as its military-backed space program, which saw the launch of China's second space station earlier this month. Measuring 500 metres in diameter, the radio telescope is nestled in a natural basin within a stunning landscape of lush green karst formations in southern Guizhou province. It took five years and $180 million to complete and surpasses that of the 300-meter Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, a dish used in research on stars that led to a Nobel Prize. The official Xinhua News Agency said hundreds of astronomers and enthusiasts watched the launch of the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, in the county of Pingtang. Researchers quoted by state media said FAST would search for gravitational waves, detect radio emissions from stars and galaxies and listen for signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life. "The ultimate goal of FAST is to discover the laws of the development of the universe," Qian Lei, an associate researcher with the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told state broadcaster CCTV. "In theory, if there is civilization in outer space, the radio signal it sends will be similar to the signal we can receive when a pulsar (spinning neutron star) is approaching us," Qian said.
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China's Giant Radio Telescope Begins Searching For Signals From Space

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  • More eyes are better and it may foster a little healthy competition in the space tech arena.

    I just hope they are in it for the long haul...

    • The true value to science, is to bring about an overall understanding of the universe, that in turn, unites all. If the development of scientific tools, such as this one, causes or brings about the idea of competition, then that's an indicator of a lack of scientific ability.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        The true value to science, is to bring about an overall understanding of the universe, that in turn, unites all. If the development of scientific tools, such as this one, causes or brings about the idea of competition, then that's an indicator of a lack of scientific ability.

        Competition with the Soviets helped spur the US to put men on the moon. Certainly there was plenty of science involved in that. It was done by people who evidently did have "scientific ability".

        Just because national dick-waving contests are puerile doesn't mean they don't have a useful side-effect. Sometimes they give scientists the funding and support necessary to do something great. If nations really want to compete with each other, I like this way very much better than doing it through armed conflict

        • You're right (of course there are some that say that the moon trip was a hoax, inspired by competition), but we haven't been to the moon in a very long time. So that only gives my point more credit. Competition was the driving force, and once the competition was over, so was all forward momentum of that project.
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      No matter how many eyes look they will see nothing if they are not tuned to the right frequencies of light. In this case, the expectation is that in this galaxy, there is another transitional state society (neither primitive or advanced) at the right distance and at the right time (speed of gravity to take into account time of transmission, time to travel, time to receive, a still close enough that the transmissions are not lost) to transmit signals that we would receive. The reality is, the numbers and pr

    • by EEPROMS ( 889169 )
      Accept it is a waste of money to look for aliens and yes Im a space news fan. First off, Im not saying aliens do or do not exist only that there is bigger problem with finding them. First of lets ignore the fact the universe is insanely big thus that alone makes finding aliens a huge problem. No lets look at something everyone forgets to look at when talking about looking for aliens, and that is "time". Just like space time is fricken huge, there are approx 13.82 billion sol year time units on the table rig
  • by wjsteele ( 255130 ) on Monday September 26, 2016 @05:01PM (#52965379)
    Despite what the linked article says, FAST needs to undergo a long testing and commissioning period of about three years before it actually begins doing any science.
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Despite what the linked article says, FAST needs to undergo a long testing...

      Didn't that Lego* thingumabob detect gravity waves during its testing phase? Ya never know.

      * And don't tell me to google the correct spailing on a fruggin monday

  • Wait..... (Score:5, Funny)

    by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Monday September 26, 2016 @05:11PM (#52965449)

    ....how do we know they're not actually using this supposed 'telescope' to signal the aliens so they can come here and vaporize our planet? Hmmm?

    • by H3lldr0p ( 40304 )

      Well someone read The Three Body Problem.

      • by Whibla ( 210729 )

        Add me to that list as well.

        Just started reading The Dark Forest [google.co.uk] too, as it happens.

        Both very enjoyable, and I think the 3rd one is out at the end of this year sometime.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      ....how do we know they're not actually using this supposed 'telescope' to signal the aliens so they can come here and vaporize our planet? Hmmm?

      Don't worry, it's actually a death ray. They just don't want xeno-environmentalists getting all uppity about some alien fungi going extinct.

  • Five hundred metres in diameter! That's half a kilometre or 0.310686 miles in diameter for the metric-challenged readers.

  • Almost 3x area Arecibo.
    1/16th the area Sq km array

    Feel free to correct my rusty math[s]; it's been a while. :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      Almost 3x area Arecibo.

      Yes, but Arecibo has access to Colombian coffee, so it's 3x more efficient. Works that way for coders.

  • by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Monday September 26, 2016 @05:25PM (#52965553)

    the telescope is primarily for radio astronomy, not SETI

  • Obviously they try to convince ET that China are their friends and the rest of the planet are not.
  • Here in the US we promote the teaching of creationism in our schools by allowing the use of tax dollars to do so:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/... [slate.com]

IN MY OPINION anyone interested in improving himself should not rule out becoming pure energy. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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