Chinese scientists were able to find more than 660 pulsars using the FAST telescope

(ORDO NEWS) — The world’s largest radio telescope, FAST, has helped Chinese astronomers detect over 660 new pulsars, the Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

Pulsars are high-speed rotating neutron stars that emit strictly periodic pulses of electromagnetic radiation, they are formed during supernova explosions from the exploded cores of massive dying stars.

Due to their high density and rapid rotation, they are believed to provide scientists with ideal conditions for studying the laws of physics.

“Research and observation with the FAST radio telescope has entered a golden period due to the stable operation of the equipment,” said FAST chief engineer Jiang Peng, quoted by the agency.

Sufficient observation time and outstanding pickup ability have allowed FAST to perform better than other radio telescopes, he said.

The initiative to build a giant radio telescope FAST (Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope) was put forward by Chinese specialists back in 1994.

The construction of the telescope, whose area is equal to the area of ​​30 football fields (the perimeter is 1.6 kilometers and the diameter is 500 meters), began in March 2011.

FAST was put into operation in September 2016 in a remote mountainous area of ​​Pingtang County, Qiannan Bui Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou Province.

It is China‘s most expensive astronomy project so far, costing 1.2 billion yuan ($180 million). It officially began operation in January 2020 and is considered the most sensitive radio telescope in the world.


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