The world's largest telescope will begin search for alien life this week

The FAST device in China will be finished construction by week's end

image via National Science Foundation

image via National Science Foundation

Construction of the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, will come to an end this week, and on September 25th, will promptly begin the search for alien life.

Previously, the biggest telescope in the world was the Arecibo, which can be found in Puerto Rico, and measures 305 meters (or 1,000 feet) in diameter, which the FAST eclipses by 640 feet.

There is a telescope in Russia, named the RATAN-600, which is technically bigger in diameter, with a 576 meter diameter ring, but it is a series of telescopes as opposed to the one FAST telescope, and it's 'collection area' (i.e. the amount of space it can gather date from) is much smaller than both the FAST and the Arecibo.

Douglas Vakoch, president of METI International, an organization dedicated to detecting alien intelligence, told CNN: "China's latest telescope will be able to look faster and further than past searches for extraterrestrial intelligence. [...] Because of FAST's incredible sensitivity, it will be able to chart the hydrogen distribution even in far flung galaxies. [...] FAST may help explain the origin of the universe and the structure of the cosmos, but it won't provide warning of Earth-bound asteroids that could destroy human civilization."

Peng Bo, director of the NAO Radio Astronomy Technology Laboratory, told China's official press agency Xinhua: "FAST's potential to discover an alien civilization will be five to 10 (times) that of current equipment, as it can see farther and darker planets."

Just last month, scientists announced they had discovered planets outside our solar system that could potentially be inhabitable for humans.