Chinese scientists collaborated with Australian engineers to develop the world's largest single-dish telescope.
CSIRO engineers and the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) have partnered to create the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) that would be used to explore the universe's evolution and study its nature.
With its completion, FAST would become the biggest single-dish telescope in the world, to top the Arecibo Observatory, located in Puerto Rico and the South African Large Telescope (SALT) in Cape Town, which has discovered an unusual black hole and white dwarf pulsar.
At present, CSIRO engineers are now working on the telescope's key component, 19-beam receiver.
The project, which is part of the agency's Strategy 2020, shows the innovative technology of Australia said Larry Marshall, chief executive of CSIRO.
Strategy 2020 aims to showcase Australia's capacity to innovate and deliver science and technology to global markets.
FAST's receivers are equipped with many different, simultaneous beams that allows exploring larger areas of hidden and faint galaxies.
The telescope's design resulted from years of working on state-of-the-art astronomical technology that can receive and augment radio waves that are coming from the space said Douglas Bock, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science acting director. Bock is confident that the project would thrust the country as a world leader in research and development.
The goal of FAST is to identify 4,000 new pulsars, or large star remnants that collapsed into neutron stars, in the galaxy. The telescope was also designed to pick up radio waves from exoplanets. Its sensitivity would allow scientists to study the Milky Way's neutral hydrogen clouds and detect new galaxies from up to 6 billion light years away.
"FAST will make it possible for us to look for a range of extremely interesting and exotic objects, like detecting thousands of new pulsars in our galaxy, and possibly the first radio pulsar in other galaxies," said Professor Rendong Nan of NAOC.