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"Will China Be the First Nation to Discover Advanced Alien Life?" (WATCH Today's "Galaxy" Stream)





This past September, China put on the "ear phones" and flipped the "ON" switch for the world's largest, most powerful radio telescope nestled in a vast, bowl-shaped valley in the mountainous southwestern province of Guizhou. The unrivaled precision of the FAST telescope will allow astronomers to survey the Milky Way and other galaxies and detect faint pulsars, and work as a powerful ground station for future space missions. With a dish the size of 30 football fields, FAST, which measures 500 meters in diameter, dwarfs Puerto Rico's 300-meter Arecibo Observatory. Under new regulations, FAST requires radio silence within a 10-kilometer radius.

"Having a more sensitive telescope, we can receive weaker and more distant radio messages," Wu Xiangping, director-general of the Chinese Astronomical Society, "It will help us to search for intelligent life outside of the galaxy and explore the origins of the universe," he added underscoring the China's race to be the first nation to discover the existence of an advanced alien civilization.



FAST is the world's largest single-aperture telescope, overtaking the Arecibo Observatory in the US territory of Puerto Rico, which is 305 meters (1000 feet) in diameter. The dish will have a perimeter of about 1.6 kilometers, Xinhua said. According to chief scientist from China’s National Astronomical Observations, Li Di, FAST is able to scan up to twice more areas of the sky than Arecibo, and it will have between three to five times the sensitivity. It’s in their hopes that if there is indeed alien life, this gargantuan will find it.

"A radio telescope is like a sensitive ear, listening to tell meaningful radio messages from white noise in the universe," said Nan Rendong, chief scientist of the FAST project. He told Xinhua that the huge dish enables much more accurate detection. "It is like identifying the sound of cicadas in a thunderstorm."

The Chinese government hopes that a more subtle benefit of the behemoth eye on the cosmos will entice some of the some of the brightest minds in science or astronomy studying abroad to return home to China. China is the leading nation in the world in the number of students it sends students abroad, especially for majors such as science or engineering.

For years Chinese scientists have relied on "second hand" data collected by others in their research and the new telescope is expected to "greatly enhance" the country's capacity to observe outer space, Xinhua said. Beijing is accelerating its military-run multi-billion-dollar space exploration program, which it sees as a symbol of the country's progress. It has plans for a permanent orbiting station by 2020 and eventually to send a human to the moon.

The Daily Galaxy via AFP/Beijing


I could have sworn she said Meti and not SETI... but i digress, the silence from space is deafening...

glad there are more ears out there listening... I hope they find something.

if nothing else, I wonder if this can/will stir up a bit of a space race between the west and the east?

Imagine just for a moment if humanity spent $0 in the next 10 years on wars or killing people and put that same budget toward a joint project that would help humanity instead?

yeah, I know, a bunch of amazing technology all came from military applications or the excuse was space use, but we use in military applications...

..and yeah... maybe we solve the big problems regardless.. like hunger, cancer, clean water..... still fun to dream about what it could be like if humans were all on the same team for a moment... if we were all brothers/sisters

... I know we were all brought up to be against something... heck even our sports are designed to teach us it is us against them... what if we were all skateboarders... and there was no coach and every time you land a new trick we all win.

yeah.. that. just for a moment.

China, Japan, India - all are countries better suited to discover ..anad then disclose finding advanced alien life because they are not handcuffed by backwards, semi-retarded, religion-anchored cultures.

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