China has built a five-hundred-meter aperture spherical radio telescope that has been in its testing phase since it was finished in 2016. Now testing is over. And, among its many tasks… it’s on the hunt for extraterrestrial life.
Located in southern China’s Guizhou province, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) is the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope. It has already detected 99 pulsars and it is picking up ‘noise’ and signals all of the time. Zhu Ming, director of the scientific observation and data division at the FAST operations and development center said “In the process of observing signals from celestial bodies, we also collect signals that might be emitted by humans or extraterrestrial intelligence,”. Cool.
But, FAST scientists have to determine what is a signal and what is just sound coming at them from all over the universe. “Most signals we see — 99% of them — are various noises, so we need to take our time to identify the signals we want in the noises,” Zhu said. Space.com reported Friday.
FAST is three times more sensitive than the second biggest telescope in the world. Scientists working on the project hope to increase its sensitivity by 50% in the next three years.
Is this it? Is this how we finally start to get messages from outside of our world? A giant metal dish in China? Get it together people. Here we go.