China to let foreign astronomers use its 1,600-foot radio telescope for the ...

China will permit foreign astronomers to use its 1,600-foot radio telescope for the first time this summer.

The Five-hundred meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) is the world's largest single-disc radio observatory, used for spotting cosmic phenomena and searching for extraterrestrial life.

It's one of the only 'Sky Eyes' remaining after the decommissioning and collapse of Arecibo Observatory's 1,000-foot radio telescope in December. 

Scientists from China and abroad can submit online applications to use FAST to the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC) starting April 1.

A timetable will be made public starting August 1, with approximately 10 percent of those observation slots allotted to outsiders, state-run Xinhua News reports.

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Five-hundred meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), the world's largest single-disc radio observatory, will welcome foreign astronomers for the first time starting in August

Five-hundred meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), the world's largest single-disc radio observatory, will welcome foreign astronomers for the first time starting in August

FAST is built into a natural sinkhole in Pingtang in China's southwestern Guizhou Province, with a unique design using metal panels that can be tilted to change their area of focus.

Construction began in 2011 and observations started in 2016, though FAST wasn't officially opened until January 11, 2020.

To date, its systems have recorded at least 240 pulsars, starting with PSR J1859-01 and PSR J1931-02 in August 2017.

One of the more unusual ones was a 'millisecond pulsar' in the Messier 92 star cluster.  

To date, its systems have recorded at least 240 pulsars, including a 'millisecond pulsar' that is spinning 18,990 rotations per minute

To date, its systems have recorded at least 240 pulsars, including a 'millisecond pulsar' that is spinning 18,990 rotations per minute

FAST is built into a natural sinkhole in Pingtang County in China's southwestern Guizhou Province. Construction began in 2011 and observations started in 2016, though the observatory wasn't officially opened until January 11, 2020

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FAST is built into a natural sinkhole in Pingtang

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