Is The Truth Out There? FAST To Find Out

The FAST telescope in China is the latest addition to the Breakthrough Listen program, part of a set of long-term astronomical programs exploring the universe.

AsianScientist (Oct. 24, 2016) – The National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC) is joining forces with the Breakthrough Initiatives to launch a coordinated search for evidence of intelligent life beyond Earth, using some of the world’s most powerful telescopes.

NAOC’s brand-new Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST)—the world’s largest filled-aperture radio receiver—will join the Breakthrough Listen program at Green Bank Telescope in the US and the Parkes Observatory in Australia. Together, the organizations will exchange observing plans, search methods and data, including the rapid sharing of promising new signals for additional observation and analysis. The two parties are also planning a series of meetings and conferences to refine search strategies, data analyses and results.

The Breakthrough Initiatives are a set of long-term astronomical programs exploring the universe, seeking scientific evidence of life beyond Earth, and encouraging public debate from a planetary perspective. Breakthrough Listen, launched in July 2015, is the most comprehensive astronomical search for intelligent life ever undertaken. It employs two of the world’s biggest radio telescopes: the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, USA, and the Parkes Observatory in New South Wales, Australia; as well as the Automated Planet Finder at Lick Observatory in California, US, which searches for laser signals.

“FAST, located in Guizhou, China, achieved first light in September 2016. It is the world’s largest filled-aperture radio receiver, and will be one of the most powerful instruments to search for potential intelligent life beyond Earth,” said Professor Yan Jun, the director general of NAOC.


Source: Breakthrough Initiatives; Photo: Shutterstock.
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