China has unveiled the largest single dish radio telescope in the world -- the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST). The mega-science project is placed in Guizhou province and is equivalent to the size of 30 football fields.
According to reports, the Chinese government has spent 1.2 billion yuan ($180 million) to build this enormous radio satellite. It will be used for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) project which aims at hunting for extraterrestrial life in the universe.
Andrew Siemion, the director of SETI Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, stated that they collaborated with FAST to work on the $100 million project called 'Breakthrough Listen', South China Morning Post reported.
"Breakthrough Listen recently entered into a partnership with FAST and the National Astronomical Observatory of China," Siemion said in a statement.
The 'Breakthrough Listen' project is financed by Yuri Milner, who is a tech investor and an entrepreneur. This project aims at conducting a decade-long research hunting for intelligent life outside Earth.
"We are very excited to work with our colleagues in China on conducting SETI observations with FAST, including of Tabby's star. Within its frequency range, FAST is the most sensitive telescope in the world capable of conducting SETI observations of Tabby's star, and will be able to detect the weakest signals," Siemion was quoted as saying by the South China Morning Post.
It will start its hunt for intelligent life on the Tabby's Star or KIC 8462852, whose mysterious flickering sphere has been an area of interest for astronomers and scientists for many years.