China: Largest telescope in, 9,000 residents out

China to relocate 9k people living near world’s largest telescope that will look for alien life

Beijing: China will relocate nearly 9,000 people residing within the five kilometres radius of the world’s largest radio telescope that promises to help humans discover alien life in space. As many as 9,110 people will be relocated from China’s Guizhou province ahead of the opening of the five-hundred- metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), provincial officials said.

File picture of the FAST under construction in China. Pic/AFP
  File picture of the FAST under construction in China. Pic/AFP

All residents living within five kilometres of the listening device will be relocated to other places to “create a sound electromagnetic wave environment”. Each resident will receive 12,000 yuan (USD 1,800) in compensation from the government’s eco-migration bureau and each involved ethnic minority household with housing difficulties will get 10,000 yuan subsidy from the provincial ethnic and religious committee.

About FAST
To be built at a cost of USD 1.2 billion yuan, FAST will be the world’s largest radio telescope after its completion in September, overtaking the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico which is some 300 metres in diameter. Construction of the FAST began in March 2011 to “help us to search for intelligent life outside of the galaxy”, Wu Xiangping, director-general of the Chinese Astronomical Society said.

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