Home > Uncategorized > China’s new radio observatory is 200 meters larger than Arecibo

China’s new radio observatory is 200 meters larger than Arecibo

 

This photo taken on June 27, 2016 shows the FAST at night. (credit: Xinhua photo/Liu Xu)

For half a century, the US National Science Foundation’s Arecibo telescope, sited in Puerto Rico, has been the world’s largest radio observatory. It measures 305 meters across and among other major discoveries has confirmed the existence of neutron stars. The observatory also featured prominently in the movie Contact.

But now a Chinese observatory has superseded Arecibo. According to China’s Xinhua news service, installation of the 500-meter FAST radio telescope is complete, with the last triangular reflector put into place. The observatory is expected to begin observing the heavens in September.

China has spent $180 million on the telescope since beginning construction in 2011 and will devote the next couple of years to testing and refining the massive instrument. After Chinese researchers receive the initial opportunities to use the telescope the government plans to open it to scientists worldwide, said Peng Bo, director of the NAO Radio Astronomy Technology Laboratory.

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China’s new radio observatory is 200 meters larger than Arecibo
Eric Berger
Fri, 08 Jul 2016 22:25:27 GMT

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