With 500 meters in diameter, FAST is the largest telescope in the world and, after three years of testing, it can now be declared fully operational.
Built on a natural depression the size of 30 soccer fields, the radio telescope is made of 4,450 individual panels that scan the sky.
The FAST is in Pingtang County, Guizhou Province, southwest of China. The karst depression site is large enough to house the 500-meter telescope and deep enough to allow an angle of 40 ° from the zenith.
In the few years that FAST has been scientifically operational, they have already made significant scientific advances, including the discovery of 130 new candidates to press, 93 of which were confirmed with other radio telescopes, so, as of now, we must expect a much larger volume of findings.
However, at the end of September it will undergo the final review process in China, called National Construction Acceptance, as stated LI Di, FAST chief scientist and leader of the radio astronomy division of the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC):
We fully expect a successful review nationwide, and then we will go from being a construction project to a complete installation.
As we explained at the time, the radio telescope has been involved in a great controversy because, for its operation, it needs a radius of five kilometers in which there is no other type of human activity. That led to the forced resettlement of more than 2,000 families.