Drone Video: The Gigantic New Telescope China's Building To Hunt Aliens

Making FAST progress

Bigger is better when it comes to radio telescopes--and China is building the biggest.

China began constructing the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescope this past summer. New drone footage released by China Central Television shows they are making rapid progress. The telescope is expected to be ready by September of next year.

When it's finished, the Five-hundred-meter-Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) dish's diameter will surpass the current record holder, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, by 200 meters. It will be able to detect radio signals from planets billions of light-years away, potentially widening the search for alien life. It could also detect new exoplanets, pulsars, and galaxies, while helping to shed light on the evolution of the cosmos.

The telescope dish will be supported and moved around by a system of poles and cables, which can be seen in the video. Read more about how it will work.