China spent five years and just under $ 200 million building its five-meter spherical aperture telescope nicknamed FAST. It was a monumental undertaking, but the result is a true wonder of technology and it is the largest complete radio telescope on Earth. Now that China is expecting a final review of the completed project later this month, scientists have already discovered with the telescope a notoriously strange radio signal that radiates through space.
Every now and then radio telescopes on Earth Recognize powerful signals from unknown sources. These Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs for short) are often singular flashes, but some occur repeatedly at seemingly random intervals. A particular signal, known as FRB 1
No one really knows what makes FRBs, and that's part of what makes them so exciting for scientists. The fact that most single explosions occur, while others, such as the FRB 121102, occur again and again makes the process that drives them even more mysterious.
"Once we have passed this test, FAST becomes an accepted telescope for exploring the universe," said Jiang Peng, chief engineer of FAST, in a statement. "Fast has been open to Chinese astronomers since April 2019. After the National Building Acceptance, it is open to astronomers around the world. "
The science team using FAST discovered the telltale signals of FRB 121102 on August 29 and heard" more than a few dozen bursts "of the signal Special event was of particular importance, as no other telescope on Earth has detected so many repetitions of the signal in such a short time, suggesting that the incredible power of the new Chinese telescope could help unlock the secrets of the signal. 19659002]FAST will have its hands full, and the researchers hope to be able to use it in the search for distant pulsars, elements such as hydrogen and of course other Fast Radio Bursts.