China’s Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) (Photo Credit: NASA/Jeff Dai (TWAN))
We all have heard so much about aliens. However, we are yet to find out that aliens are myth or reality. There are several questions in our mind that are doing the rounds. However, there is only one question that repeatedly comes in our mind - Is there life on planets outside our solar system? Anyways, researchers and astronomers are studying the activities of anomalies spotted on other planets. Well, China’s Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) has reportedly detected some mysterious signals, which is believed to be the fast radio bursts (FRBs).
According to a report published by mashable.com, China has built the world’s biggest and most sensitive radio telescope. The Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) was installed in the Dawodang depression, a natural basin in Guizhou, China. The installation was completed in the year 2017.
Nicknamed in China as ‘Tianyan’, the giant telescope flexes a fixed 500 metre diameter dish made up in a natural depression in the landscape. It’s a mirror image of the Russian RATAN-600 telescope that boasts of the largest single-dish aperture. Interestingly, FAST was a heavy lift for China, with a final price tag of $180 million.
Coming back to the mysterious signals, the FAST detected over hundred repeated bursts from late August to the beginning of September, which is the highest number detected so far. Given its high-efficiency back-end system, FAST could sense real-time pulse and capture them parallel to other observational tasks.
Scientists at the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences firmly believe that this can help shed light on the origin of FRBs, and also their physical mechanisms.
It is worth mentioning here that Fast radio bursts are powerful flashes of radio waves that shoot from the cosmos are thought to originate billions of light years from Earth, lasting only for a few milliseconds in duration. As the cause of their origin is yet to be known, it is even more difficult to detect their presence.