China has joined the hunt for extraterrestrial life in a massive way. In July 2016, construction on the 500-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, called FAST for short, was completed. The structure is the largest and most sensitive radio telescope in the world. According to China's state broadcaster CCTV, the mission for the telescope that is nearly 1km in diameter is to "search for intelligent life from outer space" and look out for pulsars that sit more than 1,000 light-years deep into space.
This enormous telescope cost about $185 million, sits 140 meters deep, has a 1.6-km circumference, and is made up of nearly 4,500 panels. FAST is located in China's Guizhou province in the southwest region of the country, where it will be protected from electromagnetic disruption. Check out the videos below to learn more and FAST and other impressive telescopes.
Inside FAST, The World's Largest Radio Telescope
The 500-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope is bigger than you think.