China’s colossal radio telescope just heard a bizarre signal in space


Mike Wehner

China spent five years and close to $200 million to build its Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, nicknamed FAST. It was a monumental undertaking, but the result is a true marvel of technology, and it's the largest full radio telescope on Earth. Now, with China set for a final review of the completed project later this month, scientists say they've already used the telescope to detect a notoriously strange radio signal beaming through space.

Every once in a while, radio telescopes on Earth detect powerful signals from unknown sources. These Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs for short) are often singular flashes, but a few of them have been observed repeating at seemingly random intervals. One particular signal, known as FRB 121102, is notorious for popping up again and again, and China's shiny new telescope heard it loud and clear.

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China’s colossal radio telescope just heard a bizarre signal in space originally appeared on on Tue, 10 Sep 2019 at 19:07:49 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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