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China to explore outer space with its huge new radio telescope

China to explore outer space with its huge new radio telescope

What’s the size of 30 football fields, hunts for aliens and lurks in the forests of southwest China?

The world’s largest single-aperture radio telescope, of course.

China completed construction on the telescope — the $180-million Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST — this week by hoisting the last of its 4,450 triangular panels into place.

Pictures posted online showed the vast, gray, disk-shaped structure nestled among the lush trees and karst cliffs of Guizhou, one of China’s poorest provinces. It had been under construction since 2011 and is expected to begin operations in September.

“The...

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