This past September, China put on the "ear phones" and flipped the "ON" switch for the world's largest, most powerful radio telescope nestled in a vast, bowl-shaped valley in the mountainous southwestern province of Guizhou. The unrivaled precision of the...

This past September, China put on the "ear phones" and flipped the "ON" switch for the world's largest, most powerful radio telescope nestled in a vast, bowl-shaped valley in the mountainous southwestern province of Guizhou. The unrivaled precision of the...

The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) is nestled within a natural basin in China's remote and mountainous southwestern Guizhou province. Nicknamed Tianyan, or the Eye of Heaven, the new radio telescope is seen in this photograph taken near the start of its testing phase of operations on September 25. Designed with an active surface for pointing and focusing, its enormous dish antenna is constructed with 4,450 individual triangular-shaped panels.

The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) is nestled within a natural basin in China's remote and mountainous southwestern Guizhou province. Nicknamed Tianyan, or the Eye of Heaven, the new radio telescope is seen in this photograph taken near the start of its testing phase of operations on September 25. Designed with an active surface for pointing and focusing, its enormous dish antenna is constructed with 4,450 individual triangular-shaped panels.

The Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) has just finished construction in the southwestern province of Guizhou. Credit: FAST

The Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) has just finished construction in the southwestern province of Guizhou. Credit: FAST

The Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST)in operation in Pingtang, in southwestern China's Guizhou province on September 25, 2016 (AFP Photo/STR)

World's largest radio telescope starts operating in China

The Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST)in operation in Pingtang, in southwestern China's Guizhou province on September 25, 2016 (AFP Photo/STR)

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office desk bedroom home decorating supply hotel guest bedroom home office guest room southwestern desc executive chair gray standard bookcases unfinished acrylic filing cabinets locking clamp on desk lamps telescopes

The world's largest radio telescope began operating in southwestern China Sunday, a project which Beijing says will help humanity search for alien life.

The world's largest radio telescope began operating in southwestern China Sunday, a project which Beijing says will help humanity search for alien life.

Astrophotographer Jeff Dai sent in a photo of the night sky over southwestern China. He writes: "The arc of winter Milky Way is photographed in this panoramic photo from Yunnan Astronomical Observatory in southwestern China. The dome, housing a 2.4 meter diameter telescope, is [illuminated] by the moonrise alpenglow."

Astrophotographer Jeff Dai sent in a photo of the night sky over southwestern China. He writes: "The arc of winter Milky Way is photographed in this panoramic photo from Yunnan Astronomical Observatory in southwestern China. The dome, housing a 2.4 meter diameter telescope, is [illuminated] by the moonrise alpenglow."

Tabby's Star shines at magnitude +11.7 in the constellation Cygnus the Swan (Northern Cross) high in the southwestern sky at nightfall in late October. A 6-inch or larger telescope will easily show it. Source: Stellarium

Tabby's Star shines at magnitude +11.7 in the constellation Cygnus the Swan (Northern Cross) high in the southwestern sky at nightfall in late October. A 6-inch or larger telescope will easily show it. Source: Stellarium

A ragged, dynamic filament of magnetism is dancing along the suns southwestern limb today. It is so large, more than 250,000 km from end to end, that amateur astronomers are able to see it in great detail using backyard solar telescopes. John Stetson sends this snapshot from Falmouth, Maine

A ragged, dynamic filament of magnetism is dancing along the suns southwestern limb today. It is so large, more than 250,000 km from end to end, that amateur astronomers are able to see it in great detail using backyard solar telescopes. John Stetson sends this snapshot from Falmouth, Maine

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