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[Video] China Built the World's Largest Telescope So It Could Look for Aliens

Our search for extraterrestrial neighbors is about to get easier now that China has unveiled the world’s largest radio telescope.

At 10:47am last Sunday, workers installed the last of the 4,450 panels on the telescope’s reflector, reports Xinhua. The final step took an hour and was watched by an audience of about 300 people from construction workers to experts, reporters and science-fiction aficionados.

The Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, cost US$180 million to build and can pan 500 meters, outstripping Puerto Rico’s Arecibo Observatory as the world’s largest telescope. Its planning stage began as early as 1994 and construction lasted five years, according to the Next Web.

Chinese scientists involved in the project have high hopes for FAST as it will allow astronomers to expedite many scientific goals, such as surveying neutral hydrogen in distant galaxies and detecting faint pulsars.

According to the New York Times, a report back in February said 2,029 families living within a three-mile radius of FAST – a total of 9,110 people – were relocated during the construction in order to create “a sound electromagnetic wave environment” for the telescope.

Get a closer look at the world's largest telescope through this video, courtesy of CCTV+:

[Photo via Digital Trends]

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