Drone video shows progress on China's giant radio telescope
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Drone video shows progress on China’s giant radio telescope

Thanks to iflscienc.com for pointing out this video taken from a drone of China’s huge 500-meter aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST). China plans to use the instrument in the search for weak messages from outer space that could be linked to intelligent life. 

Construction is progressing in southwest China’s Guizhou Province with reflector units currently being installed and FAST is due for completion in 2016, overtaking Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory, only 300 metres in diameter, as the world’s largest. 

Nan Rendong, the chief scientist of the FAST project, told the Xinhua news agency: “A radio telescope is like a sensitive ear, listening to tell meaningful radio messages from white noise in the universe.”

“It is like identifying the sound of cicadas in a thunderstorm.”

Bill Condie

Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.

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