Located in southwest China’s Guizhou province, the FAST radio telescope has been opened to tourists who can visit the impressive structure free of charge.
The world’s largest radio telescope, located in Pingtang County, Guizhou Province, China, went into service on September 25. It’s called FAST, for Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescopewhich already says a lot about its size: 500 meters in diameter for an area of approximately 196,000 square meters, i.e.equivalent to that of 30 football pitches.
With a cost of around 165 million euros, the radio telescope made up of 4,500 adjustable panels fixed on a spherical opening has just been opened to visitors free of charge, as reported by the People’s Daily. To date, around 2,000 visit the impressive structure each day. On this occasion, visitors are asked to leave their laptops and digital devices with the guards to avoid any disruption to the operation of the radio telescope.
The FAST clearly exceeds in size the Arecibo radio telescope, located on the island of Puerto Rico, with its 305 meters in diameter. It is now the second largest radio telescope in the world. If the purpose of this huge Chinese structure is to map the presence of neutral hydrogen in the Universe as well as to observe pulsars, one of the avowed objectives is also to spot signs of extraterrestrial life. beyond our galaxy.