No time has been wasted on the construction of China’s massive alien-detecting telescope — it’s expected to begin operation this September, and some 9,000 people in Guizhou will be forcibly relocated for the sake of it.
9,110 residents of Pingtang and Luodian counties are being asked to get the hell out of the way for what’s shaping up to be the world’s biggest radio telescope, known as FAST (i.e. Five-hundred-meter-diameter Aperture Spherical Telescope — beating Puerto Rico’s own 300m-diameter one).
According to Li Yuecheng, secretary-general of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, nearby residents will be compensated with 12,000 yuan and relocated within 5km for safety reasons, reports China Daily.
Final testing of the monstrosity went underway in November and on Saturday a test of FAST’s retina was declared successful. Weighing 30 metric tonnes, said retina hangs 150m or so above the telescope’s dish and will prove vital in scanning for Martians.
Made of more than 4,000 rotatable triangular panels, FAST has been designed to reflect radio signals from galaxies far far away. Construction of the 1.2 billion yuan project began in 2011, and is expected to finish as early as this June.
“With a larger signal receiving area and more flexibility, Fast will be able to scan two times more sky area than Arecibo (Puerto Rico’s large telescope), with three to five times higher sensitivity,” boasted Li Di from the National Astronomical Observatories.
With this amount of effort and bluster, there better be some little green men to show for it.
By Pinky Latt
[Images via Xinhua]