China's giant telescope picks up signals from deep space

China's giant telescope picks up signals from deep space

China's giant telescope picks up signals from deep space

It is of uncommon knowledge that China has built the world's biggest and most sensitive radio telescope and the Chinese government has been having trouble filling in the position, given how remote the telescope is since its installation was completed in 2017.

According to China Daily, the signals are "fast radio bursts" (FRB) and are coming from a source know as FRB121102, which is located a mind-boggling 3 billion light years away and was first detected in 2012. Scientists at the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences think that this can help shed light on the origin of FRBs, and also their physical mechanisms.

Repeated fast radio bursts (FRB), occurring at a distance of about 3 billion light-years from Earth have been picked up. But there is no reasonable explanation for their origin, reports Xinhua news agency.

Chinese researchers detected the tidal wave of signals from FRB121102 after installing a super-sensitive "FRB backend on a 19-beam receiver", according to China Daily, and astronomers are now reexamining and cross-checking their findings.

Given the significance of this source and its now apparent active state, FAST is carrying out more monitoring.

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In China it is given the FAST nickname because Tianyan is a radio telescope which has a 500 meter diameter dish.

Astronomers from more than 10 countries and regions are making observation plans for FAST in order to best apply the unprecedented power of the telescope, going beyond what has been done by other telescopes in the past, it said. Their intentions vary from researching exoplanets and interstellar matter to studying ultra-high-energy cosmic rays and gravitational rays, just to name a few.

The 19-beam receiver on FAST is especially sensitive to radio signals, covering the 1.05-1.45 GHz frequency range, and that makes it ideal for keeping an eye on FRB 121102.

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