With a dish the size of 30 football fields, China's new radio telescope, which measures 500 meters in diameter, dwarfs Puerto Rico's 300-meter Arecibo Observatory. Having the world's largest and most powerful new radio telescope, the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, "We can receive weaker and more distant radio messages.
It will help us to search for intelligent life outside of the galaxy and explore the origins of the universe.
The dish will have a perimeter of about 1.6 kilometers, and there are no towns within five kilometers, giving it ideal surroundings to listen for signals from space. Scientists have depicted it as a super-sensitive 'ear', capable of spotting very weak messages, if there are any, from 'cousins' of human beings.
The telescope, nicknamed Tianyan, or the Eye of Heaven, can accurately image twice as much the sky as the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, which had previously been the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, with double sensitivity and five to 10 times the surveying speed.
it will be used to look for the signatures of complex organic molecules in interstellar space, which will show how widely the basic building blocks of life are distributed throughout the cosmos.
Sometimes, radio telescopes are "confused" by signals from astronomical objects. For example, astronomers once mistook signals from a pulsar for extraterrestrial signs, because a pulsar can also give out very stable periodical signals.
It is highly possible that life on other planets is entirely different from that on Earth, and it might not be carbon-based.
However, the first such planet discovered outside our solar system takes only four days to orbit its host star, much faster than astronomers expected. At that time, some people doubted it, showing how the example of our solar system narrowed their thinking."
If we really discover extraterrestrial life, I'd like to know how life spreads in the universe. Is it distributed uniformly in space, or clustered.
However, the idea communicating with aliens comes with concerns. Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has warned that communicating with aliens could be a threat to Earth: "If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans."
No matter the outcome, we shall never stop searching...