I’ve just reread the entire plot of Goldeneye thanks to China’s Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), and I’m now concerned some serious shit might go on down here once it’s completed in 2016.
It’ll not only be the world’s largest, but it will also be the world’s most sensitive radio telescope, taking over from Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory. FAST will allow the Chinese to see into space three times further than Arecibo, not to mention seeing wider sections of 19 different sky regions – all due to the larger size of the dish, but also the hanging mirrors which weigh 11,000 tons, acting as a “dish within a dish,” as PopSci describes.
What does this mean for us, down here on Earth? Once it’s finished, the South Guizhou radio telescope will help search for extraterrestrial life – no joke – along with collect data of what’s beyond our atmosphere. [ArXiv via NewScientist via PopSci]