"A Big Iron Wok"


China has just opened the 'Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope' -- 'FAST' -- in the hills of Guizhou Province. Sounds crazy:

"The telescope, which is in a majestic but impoverished part of Guizhou Province, embodies China’s plans to rise as a scientific power. The dish is made of 4,450 intricately positioned triangular panels and has a collecting area of 2.1 million square feet, equal to almost 450 basketball courts. At 1,640 feet in diameter, it will be roughly twice as sensitive as the world’s next-biggest single-dish radio telescope, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, which is 1,000 feet across."

The lede, of course, is sort of buried. If we're ever going to find extraterrestrial life, this is likely the dish that's going to do it...


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