The Pepper Bough

China unveils largest-ever radio telescope

Ups the ante in space war with U.S.

Joshua Sandoval, Reporter

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NASA has a new opponent, and their name is China.

For the longest time America has had the leading space exploration organization, now China wants a piece of the glory. What better way to steal the spotlight than to build the world’s largest radio telescope. If that doesn’t catch your attention, then how about the fact that this is the closet we are to finding extraterrestrial life?

The first name thought of when mentioning space is usually NASA, but recently China has been trying to make a name for itself in the space department. Well it seems like they finally did it, in the most spectacular way too. China’s new radio telescope is 300 meters wide, almost equal to 450 basketball courts in size. Though the size is impressive; its real feat is its functionality. It has double the sensitivity and scans up to 10 times the speed than the now second-largest radio telescope in Puerto Rico.

Even though it’s going to need about three years of testing, tuning, and calibrating, the telescope has already made its first discovery. It has detected a pulsar about 1,351-light-years away, from just testing it. This is only just one of the many exciting discoveries it could make too! With this technology it could discover entire solar systems, stars, and even signs of alien life. The potential of just this one telescope is endless.

It’s safe to say China’s accomplished something big (quite literally!) This achievement just goes to show that there’s always new things we can all learn. It just takes some science, hard work, and a five-hundred-meter radio telescope! It’s exciting to think what this telescope will show us in the future.

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China unveils largest-ever radio telescope