NAOC & CSIRO Develop World’s Largest Single Dish Telescope

Chinese and Australian teams are collaborating on the design and construction of the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope in China.

AsianScientist (May 18, 2016) – Scientists from the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia are collaborating on developing the world’s largest single dish telescope, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), in China.

With a diameter of half a kilometer wide, FAST will dwarf the current largest single-dish telescope, the 305-meter wide Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. FAST will also be one of the most sensitive telescopes, able to receive weaker and more distant radio signals, helping scientists to explore the nature, origins and evolution of the universe.

A key component of the the telescope, a 19-beam receiver, is being designed and built in Australia by CSIRO engineers. Most radio telescopes use receivers that can only see one piece of sky at a time; the many separate, simultaneous beams of the FAST receiver will make it more practical to search a large portion of the sky for faint and hidden galaxies.

Professor Nan Rendong from NAOC said the state-of-the-art instrument would help astronomers to expand their understanding of the universe.

“FAST will make it possible for us to look for a range of extremely interesting and exotic objects, like detecting thousands of new pulsars in our galaxy, and possibly the first radio pulsar in other galaxies,” Nan said.


Source: CSIRO.
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