China has opened the world's largest radio telescope.

China has opened the world's largest radio telescope.

Following the collapse of the historic Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, China has opened the biggest radio telescope in the world up to international scientists. 

In Pingtang, Guizhou province stands the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), the largest radio telescope in the world.

It has surpassed the Arecibo Observatory, which stood as the largest in the world for 53 years, before the construction of FAST was completed in 2016. 

Following two cable failures earlier this year, Arecibo's radio telescope collapsed in November, shutting down the observatory for good. Now, FAST is opening its doors to astronomers from around the world.

With its massive 1,600-foot (500 meters) diameter dish, FAST is not only larger than the now-destroyed Arecibo telescope, but it's also three times more sensitive. FAST, which began full operations in January of this year, is also surrounded by a 3-mile (5 kilometers) "radio silence" zone in which cellphones and computers are not allowed. 


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