The Eye of Heaven -FAST

Technology

The Eye of Heaven – FAST

by Live in Guizhou


PUBLISHED August 16, 2021 • 3 MIN READ

Located in Pingtang County, Qiannan Buyi and Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Guizhou Province, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) is the most sensitive and largest single- aperture radio telescope in the world with China’s independent intellectual property rights. It’s also the telescope that, so far, sees the farthest and most clearly in the whole world.
The magnificent project, first envisioned in 1994 by the Chinese astronomer, Nan Rendong, and completed on September 25th , 2016, after 22 years’ construction, was dubbed China’s Eye of Heaven. The telescope can receive electromagnetic signals emitted 13,700 million light-years away, a distance which is already near the border of the universe. It also allows one to observe the movements of neutral hydrogen clouds, to unveil the origin and evolution of the universe, and to search any possible interstellar communication for signals and extraterritorial beings.
Right now, in the showroom of the Planetarium of the Eye of Heaven, one can hear the pulse signals that are 1,351 light-years away which have been collected by the telescope and which sound just like music.

Aerial View of Guizhou·The Astronomy Town

The town of Kedu is located in Pingtang County of Qiannan Buyi and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in Guizhou, home to the Dawodang depression, a natural karst basin formation. The town is now better known for hosting the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), the world’s largest filled-aperture radio telescope. If you visit Kedu today, you’ll find it a quaint astronomy town that offers a wide variety of space-themed services including education, discovery, and cultural experience.

Commissioning Team for the FAST

They are the commissioning team for the FAST project, the average age of the team being 35 years. They set up base in the deep mountains of Guizhou and worked hard to debug the world’s largest single-calibre radio telescope – the FAST.
Prior to this, the commissioning of the 100-meter US Green Bank Telescope (GBT) took 6 years, and that of the 64-meter Italian SRT telescope took more than 5 years,while the FAST had its basic commissioning completed in less than 3 years.

Tips for Visiting the Eye of Heaven

Many friends may want to know what we need to pay attention to when visiting FAST. Well, these are what I’ve learned: First of all, the science popular observatory of the Eye of Heaven imposes a restriction on the number of visitor to no more than 2,000 people a day; secondly, the observatory does not require tickets, but to reach the observatory, one needs to take the specially produced and tested shuttle bus which costs 50 yuan/person. The ticket for the shuttle bus is subject to real-name online booking, available on Ctrip.com, Lvmama.com and pttwlyw.com. When the booking is done, one needs to take the valid ID card and other valid identity documents in order to collect the ticket on the day of the visit.
In addition, in order to ensure the safe operation of the “Eye of Heaven”, visitors are strictly forbidden to carry mobile phones, digital cameras, tablets, chargers, smart bracelets, walkie- talkies and other electronic products, lighter, cigarettes and other inflammable and explosives, as well as controlled knives. Visitors can store their personal belongings at the visitor service center by showing their shuttle bus ticket. After undergoing a strict security check, they can then take the shuttle bus to the observatory of the “Eye of Heaven”.

Pingtang International Astronomical Experience Museum

The Pingtang International Astronomical Experience Museum, located in Pingtang County, Qiannan Prefecture, Guizhou Province, is a natural science museum for the dissemination of astronomy. It was opened to the public on September 25, 2016, together with the FAST project and the viewing platform. The main building of the Experience Museum covers an area of 7,000 square meters and is designed into four permanent exhibition areas: a high-tech special theater, a science and art gallery, a theme activity area and a temporary exhibition hall. The museum gives a vivid representation of the eternal topic of “universe, life and humans”.