China next year, intends to complete the construction of the five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) - one of the world's largest radio telescopes. As the name implies, the diameter of the telescope is 500 meters. Thus, according to this indicator FAST significantly surpass radio telescope at the Arecibo Observatory, which has a mirror diameter of about 305 meters of the reflector is currently one of the largest in the world (using one of the aperture).
At the same time installing FAST will match the diameter of the largest radio telescopes "RATAN-600", which belongs to the Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences: the size of the circular reflector of this system is mounted under 576
metram .Teleskop village Zelenchukskaya in
Karachay-Cherkessia (Russia) and was it opened in 1974. Included in the
"Guinness Book of Records."
However, it should be noted that the collecting area of the reflector "RATAN-600" radio telescope inferior to the Arecibo Observatory: 12 000 m 2 against the 73 000 m 2. The Chinese system of FAST on this indicator will be an absolute record, surpassing the installation at Arecibo is approximately two and a half
Experts have already begun to assemble the reflector FAST, in a design that will use the 4450 panel. Each of them is an equilateral triangle with a side length of 11 meters.
The perimeter of the telescope-record holder will be 1.6 kilometers: in order to get around it, you will need at least 40 minutes. The complex is the size of 30 football fields located in a natural depression in the southern part of the mountainous province of Guizhou.
It is expected that the radio telescope FAST will help in the search for possible traces of extraterrestrial civilizations. In addition, Chinese scientists propose to use the complex to travel around the mysteries of the universe.