China has been working on the largest telescope in the world. This 30-soccer field wide, $180 million project, has been under construction for 5 years, and this past weekend, China completed the final triangular pinion ahead of its September 2016 launch.
The Five Hundred Meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST for short, has been built to explore the universe and to search for extra-terrestrial civilisations. The telescope is now the largest in the world, followed by the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Engineers behind the telescope have described the size of the dome saying that if it was filled to the brim with wine, there would be enough to give five bottles to each human in the world. The telescope will have 5 to 10 times the power of current equipment worldwide.
The project is said to have the potential to search for strange objects and to better understand the origin of the universe and help boost the search for extra-terrestrial life. The telescope is made of 4450 panels which are carefully fitted into the centre of the dish.