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September 26, 2018

Study suggests Mars hosted life-sustaining habitat for millions of years

Study suggests Mars hosted life-sustaining habitat for millions of years

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  • 26 September 2018: Study suggests Mars hosted life-sustaining habitat for millions of years
  • 20 September 2018: NASA’s TESS spacecraft reports its first exoplanet
  • 31 July 2018: Total lunar eclipse occurs in July 2018
  • 19 July 2018: US astronomers announce discovering ten tiny Jovian satellites
  • 7 May 2018: NASA’s InSight lander and MarCO craft launch in new mission to Mars

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

In a new study announced on Monday and available in the current volume of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, an international team led by scientists from Brown University in the United States said the planet Mars once had the right water and temperatures to host simple life forms — just not on its surface. Mars’s rocky, subterranean layer once, for some hundreds of millions of years, had enough water and reductants to support some of the same kinds of microbial communities seen on Earth.

“We showed, based on basic physics and chemistry calculations, that the ancient Martian subsurface likely had enough dissolved hydrogen to power a global subsurface biosphere,” reported lead author and current Brown graduate student Jesse Tarnas. The paper does not claim life on Mars did exist but rather that conditions suitable for life are very likely to have lasted for an extended time. This habitable zone, located beneath Mars’s then-frozen surface, would have reached several kilometers into Mars’s surface, potentially protected by ice above.

The study showed that, during Mars’s Noachian period (4.1–3.7 billion years ago), radiolysis, the process by which radiation splits water molecules apart, produced enough hydrogen gas (H2) for microbial organisms to live on so long as they remained within the area just beneath the cryosphere, the SHZ (subcryospheric highly-fractured zone). The concentration of hydrogen in the groundwater could have ranged from about 35 to about 55 millimolars depending on whether ancient Mars was warm or cold, respectively, and higher if the subsurface medium also contained enough salt. The researchers determined this by establishing three factors. First, they examined data from the gamma ray spectrometer aboard NASA’s Odyssey spacecraft, from which they inferred how much of various radioactive elements would have been present in Mars’s crust during the Noachian, and therefore how much radiation would have been available to split water and so produce hydrogen. They then built on existing models of water flow on Mars to determine how much groundwater would have been present. Third, they used climate and geothermal modeling to determine how much of that water would have been in liquid form and at a suitable temperature for living things.

In subterranean environments on Earth called subsurface lithotrophic microbial ecosystems, or SLiMEs, ecosystems sustain themselves not on plants that harness sunlight through photosynthesis but on microbes that harvest electrons from nearby molecules. Molecular hydrogen is an especially good electron donor.

One of the study authors, Brown Professor John Mustard, is on the team designing the next Mars Rover mission, scheduled for 2020. He and Tarnas recommended the Rover examine the sites of meteorite crashes, which may have excavated rocks from this possibly habitable depth that may hold traces of ancient life.



Related news

  • “NASA’s InSight lander and MarCO craft launch in new mission to Mars” — Wikinews, May 7, 2018
  • “Curiosity Rover analysis suggests chemically complex lake once graced Mars’s Gale crater” — Wikinews, June 4, 2017
  • NASA announces water on Mars” — Wikinews, October 1, 2015

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September 25, 2018

Mars hosted life-sustaining habitat for millions of years, say scientists

Mars hosted life-sustaining habitat for millions of years, say scientists

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  • 20 September 2018: NASA’s TESS spacecraft reports its first exoplanet
  • 31 July 2018: Total lunar eclipse occurs in July 2018
  • 19 July 2018: US astronomers announce discovering ten tiny Jovian satellites
  • 7 May 2018: NASA’s InSight lander and MarCO craft launch in new mission to Mars
  • 21 April 2018: NASA launches exoplanet-hunting satellite TESS

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

In a new study announced on Monday and available in the current volume of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, an international team led by scientists from Brown University in the United States said the planet Mars once had the right water and temperatures to host simple life forms — just not on its surface. Mars’s rocky, subterranean layer once, for some hundreds of millions of years, had enough water and reductants to support some of the same kinds of microbial communities seen on Earth.

“We showed, based on basic physics and chemistry calculations, that the ancient Martian subsurface likely had enough dissolved hydrogen to power a global subsurface biosphere,” reported lead author and current Brown graduate student Jesse Tarnas. The paper does not claim life on Mars did exist but rather that conditions suitable for life are very likely to have lasted for an extended time. This habitable zone, located beneath Mars’s then-frozen surface, would have reached several kilometers into Mars’s surface, potentially protected by ice above.

The study showed that, during Mars’s Noachian period (4.1–3.7 billion years ago), radiolysis, the process by which radiation splits water molecules apart, produced enough hydrogen gas (H2) for microbial organisms to live on so long as they remained within the area just beneath the cryosphere, the SHZ (subcryospheric highly-fractured zone). The concentration of hydrogen in the groundwater could have ranged from about 35 to about 55 millimolars depending on whether ancient Mars was warm or cold, respectively, and higher if the subsurface medium also contained enough salt. The researchers determined this by establishing three factors. First, they examined data from the gamma ray spectrometer aboard NASA’s Odyssey spacecraft, from which they inferred how much of various radioactive elements would have been present in Mars’s crust during the Noachian, and therefore how much radiation would have been available to split water and so produce hydrogen. They then built on existing models of water flow on Mars to determine how much groundwater would have been present. Third, they used climate and geothermal modeling to determine how much of that water would have been in liquid form and at a suitable temperature for living things.

In subterranean environments on Earth called subsurface lithotrophic microbial ecosystems, or SLiMEs, ecosystems sustain themselves not on plants that harness sunlight through photosynthesis but on microbes that harvest electrons from nearby molecules. Molecular hydrogen is an especially good electron donor.

One of the study authors, Brown Professor John Mustard, is on the team designing the next Mars Rover mission, scheduled for 2020. He and Tarnas recommended the Rover examine the sites of meteorite crashes, which may have excavated rocks from this possibly habitable depth that may hold traces of ancient life.



Related news[]

  • “NASA’s InSight lander and MarCO craft launch in new mission to Mars” — Wikinews, May 7, 2018
  • “Curiosity Rover analysis suggests chemically complex lake once graced Mars’s Gale crater” — Wikinews, June 4, 2017
  • NASA announces water on Mars” — Wikinews, October 1, 2015

Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

September 24, 2018

Mars may once had habitat suitable for subterranean life, say scientists

Mars may once had habitat suitable for subterranean life, say scientists

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  • 20 September 2018: NASA’s TESS spacecraft reports its first exoplanet
  • 31 July 2018: Total lunar eclipse occurs in July 2018
  • 19 July 2018: US astronomers announce discovering ten tiny Jovian satellites
  • 7 May 2018: NASA’s InSight lander and MarCO craft launch in new mission to Mars
  • 21 April 2018: NASA launches exoplanet-hunting satellite TESS

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Monday, September 24, 2018

In a new study available in the current volume of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, a team led by scientists from Brown University in the United States says that the planet Mars once had the right water and temperatures to host simple life forms—just not on its surface. Mars’ rocky, subterranean layer once had enough water and reductants to support some of the same kinds of microbial communities seen on Earth, and this habitat lasted for hundreds of millions of years.

“We showed, based on basic physics and chemistry calculations, that the ancient Martian subsurface likely had enough dissolved hydrogen to power a global subsurface biosphere,” reports lead author Jesse Tarnas, currently a graduate student at Brown. The paper does not prove that life on Mars did exist but rather that conditions suitable for life are very likely to have lasted for eons. This habitable zone, located beneath Mars’ then-frozen surface, would have reached several kilometers into Mars’ surface, protected from freezing by the ice above.

The the study shows that, during Mars’ Noachian period (3.7–4.1 billion years ago), radiolysis, the process by which radiation splits water molecules apart, produced enough hydrogen gas (H2) for microbial organisms to live on so long as they remained within the area just beneath the cryosphere, the SHZ. The concentration of hydrogen in the groundwater could have ranged from about 35 to about 55 millimoles depending on whether ancient Mars was warm or cold, respectively, and higher if the subsurface medium also contained enough salt. The researchers determined this by establishing three factors. First, they examined data from the gamma ray spectrometer aboard NASA’s Odyssey spacecraft, from which they inferred how much uranium would have been present in Mars’ crust during the Noachian, and therefore how much radiation would have been available to split water and so produce hydrogen. Then built on existing models of water flow on Mars to determine how much groundwater would have been present. Third, they used climate and geothermal modeling to determine how much of that water would have been in liquid form and at a suitable temperature for living things.

In subterranean environments on Earth called subsurface lithotrophic microbial ecosystems, or SLiMEs, ecosystems sustain themselves not on plants that harness sunlight through photosynthesis but on microbes that harvest electrons from nearby molecules. Molecular hydrogen is an especially good electron donor.

One of the study authors, Brown Professor John Mustard, is on the team designing the next Mars Rover mission, scheduled for 2020. He and his co-authors recommend that the Rover examine the sites of meteorite crashes, which may have excavated rocks from this possibly habitable depth that may hold traces of ancient life.



Related news[]

  • “NASA’s InSight lander and MarCO craft launch in new mission to Mars” — Wikinews, May 7, 2018
  • “Curiosity Rover analysis suggests chemically complex lake once graced Mars’s Gale crater” — Wikinews, June 4, 2017
  • NASA announces water on Mars” — Wikinews, October 1, 2015

Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Mars hosted a life-sustaining habitat for millions of years, say scientists

Mars hosted a life-sustaining habitat for millions of years, say scientists

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  • 20 September 2018: NASA’s TESS spacecraft reports its first exoplanet
  • 31 July 2018: Total lunar eclipse occurs in July 2018
  • 19 July 2018: US astronomers announce discovering ten tiny Jovian satellites
  • 7 May 2018: NASA’s InSight lander and MarCO craft launch in new mission to Mars
  • 21 April 2018: NASA launches exoplanet-hunting satellite TESS

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Monday, September 24, 2018

In a new study available in the current volume of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, a team led by scientists from Brown University in the United States says the planet Mars once had the right water and temperatures to host simple life forms—just not on its surface. Mars’ rocky, subterranean layer once had enough water and reductants to support some of the same kinds of microbial communities seen on Earth, and this habitat lasted for hundreds of millions of years.

“We showed, based on basic physics and chemistry calculations, that the ancient Martian subsurface likely had enough dissolved hydrogen to power a global subsurface biosphere,” reports lead author Jesse Tarnas, currently a graduate student at Brown. The paper does not prove life on Mars did exist but rather that conditions suitable for life are very likely to have lasted for eons. This habitable zone, located beneath Mars’ then-frozen surface, would have reached several kilometers into Mars’ surface, protected from freezing by the ice above.

The the study shows that, during Mars’ Noachian period (3.7–4.1 billion years ago), radiolysis, the process by which radiation splits water molecules apart, produced enough hydrogen gas (H2) for microbial organisms to live on so long as they remained within the area just beneath the cryosphere, the SHZ. The concentration of hydrogen in the groundwater could have ranged from about 35 to about 55 millimoles depending on whether ancient Mars was warm or cold, respectively, and higher if the subsurface medium also contained enough salt. The researchers determined this by establishing three factors. First, they examined data from the gamma ray spectrometer aboard NASA’s Odyssey spacecraft, from which they inferred how much uranium would have been present in Mars’ crust during the Noachian, and therefore how much radiation would have been available to split water and so produce hydrogen. They then built on existing models of water flow on Mars to determine how much groundwater would have been present. Third, they used climate and geothermal modeling to determine how much of that water would have been in liquid form and at a suitable temperature for living things.

In subterranean environments on Earth called subsurface lithotrophic microbial ecosystems, or SLiMEs, ecosystems sustain themselves not on plants that harness sunlight through photosynthesis but on microbes that harvest electrons from nearby molecules. Molecular hydrogen is an especially good electron donor.

One of the study authors, Brown Professor John Mustard, is on the team designing the next Mars Rover mission, scheduled for 2020. He and his co-authors recommend the Rover examine the sites of meteorite crashes, which may have excavated rocks from this possibly habitable depth that may hold traces of ancient life.



Related news[]

  • “NASA’s InSight lander and MarCO craft launch in new mission to Mars” — Wikinews, May 7, 2018
  • “Curiosity Rover analysis suggests chemically complex lake once graced Mars’s Gale crater” — Wikinews, June 4, 2017
  • NASA announces water on Mars” — Wikinews, October 1, 2015

Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

September 20, 2018

NASA’s TESS spacecraft reports its first exoplanet

NASA’s TESS spacecraft reports its first exoplanet

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  • 20 September 2018: NASA’s TESS spacecraft reports its first exoplanet
  • 31 July 2018: Total lunar eclipse occurs in July 2018
  • 19 July 2018: US astronomers announce discovering ten tiny Jovian satellites
  • 7 May 2018: NASA’s InSight lander and MarCO craft launch in new mission to Mars
  • 21 April 2018: NASA launches exoplanet-hunting satellite TESS

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

In findings released to the public on Monday through online site arXiv.org, astronomers reported they have already used data from the first photograph taken by National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to locate an exoplanet. The planet, called Pi Mensae c, was spotted as it was transiting in front of its star, Pi Mensae (HD 39091). The paper describing the findings was being submitted to AAS Letter but had yet to be published in full.

“Here, we report on the discovery of a transiting planet around [Pi Mensae], exactly the type of planet TESS was designed to detect,” states a portion of the paper available to the public.

Scientists say the planet is roughly twice the diameter of Earth but about four times as massive. Findings for Pi Mensae c indicate it may contain helium, methane, hydrogen, and water but is deemed unlikely to support life because it is so close to its star.

TESS, which launched last April, created the light image over the course of 30 minutes on August 7, using four optical telescopes to photograph a small portion of the night sky. Its mission is slated to last two years and reports anticipate it could discover thousands of exoplanets.

This week in an unrelated project, researchers from the University of Florida spotted a planet circling a star named 40 Eriadni A (HD 26965). In the fictional universe of Star Trek, this star system is the home of the Vulcans like Mr. Spock. The exoplanet, officially called HD 26965b, has been nicknamed “Vulcan,” after this fictional planet.



Related news

  • “NASA launches exoplanet-hunting satellite TESS” — Wikinews, April 21, 2018

Sources

  • Chelsea X. Huang (MIT), Jennifer Burt, Andrew Vanderburg, Maximilian N. Günther, Avi Shporer, Jason A. Dittmann, Joshua N. Winn, Rob Wittenmyer, Lizhou Sha, Stephen R. Kane, George R. Ricker, Roland Vanderspek, David W. Latham, Sara Seager, Jon Jenkins, Douglas A. Caldwell, Karen A. Collins, Natalia Guerrero, Jeffrey C. Smith, Sam Quinn, Stéphane Udry, Francesco Pepe, François Bouchy, Damien Sé gransan, Christophe Lovis, David Ehrenreich, Maxime Marmier, Michel Mayor, Bill Wohler, Kari Haworth, Edward Morgan, Michael Fausnaugh, David Charbonneau, Norio Narita, the TESS team. “TESS Discovery of a Transiting Super-Earth in the Π Mensae System” — arXiv, September 16, 2018
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July 31, 2018

Total lunar eclipse occurs in July 2018

Total lunar eclipse occurs in July 2018

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Observation from Chelsea, Victoria, Australia at 06:07am AEST (UTC+10).
Image: Ian Fieggen.

On Friday–Saturday —depending on observer’s timezone— a total lunar eclipse occurred as the Moon was in the shadow of the Earth. As normal during such an eclipse, the Moon became faint and turned completely red as bluer light was scattered by the Earth’s atmosphere. Totality of 1 hour and 43 minutes was the longest in the 21st century.

People were able to observe the eclipse from Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. A volunteer named José Jiménez uploaded a photo of the incident today from Alt Empordà in Girona, Catalonia, Spain, featuring the Moon, Mars, and the milky way on the same photo.

German astronaut Alexander Gerst took photos of the Moon from the International Space Station and uploaded them to Flickr on the same day.

According to timeanddate.com, the timeline of the eclipse was as follows.

Event Time (UTC)
July 27
Start penumbral eclipse 17:14:47
Start partial eclipse 18:24:27
Start full eclipse 19:30:15
Maximum eclipse 20:21:44
End full eclipse 21:13:11
End partial eclipse 22:19:00
End penumbral eclipse 23:28:38

Mars was also visible near the Moon; coming this week, reported 9News, closer to Earth than at any time since 2003.



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July 19, 2018

US astronomers announce discovering ten tiny Jovian satellites

US astronomers announce discovering ten tiny Jovian satellites

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

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  • 31 July 2018: Total lunar eclipse occurs in July 2018
  • 19 July 2018: US astronomers announce discovering ten tiny Jovian satellites
  • 7 May 2018: NASA’s InSight lander and MarCO craft launch in new mission to Mars
  • 21 April 2018: NASA launches exoplanet-hunting satellite TESS
  • 3 April 2018: China’s Tiangong-1 space station crashes into Pacific

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On Tuesday, astronomers of the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, DC, United States, announced the discovery of ten small satellites orbiting Jupiter. With this discovery, Jupiter now has 79 known satellites.

The team led by Scott Sheppard had discovered twelve of the 79 Jovian satellites, including Tuesday’s ten, mostly using a Blanco 4-meter telescope of Chile’s Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. The observatory is operated by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in the US. The tiny satellites, none more than five kilometres in diameter, were first observed in 2017. Orbits of these new Jovian satellites were calculated by International Astronomical Union‘s Minor Planet Center‘s Gareth Williams. Williams explained, “It takes several observations to confirm an object actually orbits around Jupiter […] So, the whole process took a year.”

The astronomers were looking for planets much farther out than Pluto. Sheppard said, “Jupiter just happened to be in the sky near the search fields where we were looking for extremely distant Solar System objects, so we were serendipitously able to look for new moons around Jupiter while at the same time looking for planets at the fringes of our Solar System”.

Of the twelve satellites discovered by the team, nine were found to be retrograde, revolving around the gas giant in the direction opposite to the planet’s spin. These nine new retrograde satellites take about two years to complete one revolution around Jupiter.

The remaining three satellites were prograde, spinning in the same direction as Jupiter’s rotation. One of the prograde satellites, newly announced on Tuesday, took about one-and-half years to complete one revolution around Jupiter, and its orbit intersected with the outer retrograde satellites. Sheppard said, “Our other discovery is a real oddball and has an orbit like no other known Jovian moon […] It’s also likely Jupiter’s smallest known moon, being less than one kilometre in diameter”. The astronomer also said, “This is an unstable situation […] Head-on collisions would quickly break apart and grind the objects down to dust.”

Sheppard said of the composition of those satellites, they “started orbiting Jupiter, instead of falling into it. So we think they are intermediate between rocky asteroids and icy comets. So they are probably half ice and half rock.”

Valetudo” is the name suggested for the “oddball” satellite. Valetudo was the Roman god Jupiter‘s great-granddaughter, regarded as the goddess of health and hygiene.

Sheppard said, “Jupiter is like a big vacuum cleaner because it is so massive”. Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System, with a diameter about 142,984 kilometres. The largest known satellite in the Solar System is Jupiter’s Ganymede, whose diameter is approximately 5268 kilometres. Saturn has the second-most known satellites: 62, while Uranus has 27.



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July 6, 2016

NASA\’s Juno spacecraft enters Jupiter Orbit

NASA’s Juno spacecraft enters Jupiter orbit

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

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Yesterday, NASA announced their spacecraft Juno has reached Jupiter orbit. It was launched almost five years ago to investigate the largest planet of the Solar System, especially its past.

Juno approaching Jupiter; simulation.
Image: NASA.

Charles Bolden, NASA administrator, said, “Independence Day always is something to celebrate, but today we can add to America’s birthday another reason to cheer — Juno is at Jupiter”. He also added the spacecraft would help study the evolution of the Solar System and explore Jupiter’s radiation belts.

NASA spent US$1.1 billion for Juno. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) reported Juno was confirmed in Jupiter’s orbit at 0353 UTC. Including the camera, the probe has nine scientific instruments. Juno has covered 2.7 billion kilometres (1.7 billion miles) to reach Jupiter.

NASA said non-essential equipment was turned off for the approach. They expect photos in some days. The first orbital revolution period is 53 days. Juno is expected to orbit the planet 37 times keeping an altitude of 5000 kilometres (3100 miles) above the Jovian clouds and then fall into the planet in 2018.

NASA’s Galileo, launched in 1989, found evidence of saline water on Jovian satellites Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

The electronics have been encased in titanium to protect them from high-energy radiation.



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Final piece added to China\’s new radio telescope

Final piece added to China’s new radio telescope

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

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Photo of the construction of FAST, 2015
Image: Psr1909.

On Sunday China announced the final panel attached to its telescope named Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST). This piece marks the end of a five-year-long US$180 million (CNY¥1.2 billion) construction project.

FAST comprises about 4,500 panels and spans a diameter of 500 meters (about 1640 feet). The telescope is part of a series of ventures into space exploration by China, including planning another robotic Moon mission and creating a Chinese space station, with its core module set to be launched into space in 2018. With the country’s founding centenary coming in 2049, Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a Beijing conference, “great scientific and technological capacity is a must for China to be strong”.

In order to achieve optimal electromagnetic performance for FAST with minimal signal interference, it was built in the South China Karst. This ultimately forced the relocation of about 9,100 inhabitants within a 3.1-mile (5km) radius of the telescope. The residents received about US$1,800 (CNY¥12,000) in reimbursement, with those experiencing difficulties with housing receiving about US$1,500 (CNY¥10,000) in extra compensation. The Chinese government supports the resettlement, with senior party official Li Yuecheng saying the relocation would provide a “sound electromagnetic wave environment”.

The telescope is now the largest-diameter single-dish radio telescope. It took the spot from the 305-meter diameter Arecibo Observatory telescope in Puerto Rico. Russia‘s RATAN-600 multi-element radio telescope has a diameter of 576 meters. This adds to China’s record-defying achievements; it contains the world’s largest bridge and the world’s longest wall, the Great Wall of China.

The telescope is set to be ready for use in September. Its possible uses include exploration for pulsars, a special type of neutron stars detected through their emission of radio pulses. Scientists have also described the telescope’s potential to explore alien civilization, with NAO Radio Astronomy Technology Laboratory director Peng Bo saying FAST’s “potential to discover an alien civilization will be 5 to 10 times that of current equipment, as it can see farther and darker planets”.



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Final panel added to China\’s FAST radio telescope

Final panel added to China’s FAST radio telescope

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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

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Photo of the construction of FAST, 2015
Image: Psr1909.

On Sunday, China announced the attachment of the final panel to its telescope named Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST). This piece marks the end of a five-year-long US$180 million (CNY¥1.2 billion) construction project.

FAST comprises about 4,500 panels and spans a diameter of 500 meters (about 1640 feet). The telescope is part of a series of ventures into space exploration by China, including planning another robotic Moon mission and creating a Chinese space station, with its core module set to be launched into space in 2018. With the country’s founding centenary coming in 2049, Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a Beijing conference, “great scientific and technological capacity is a must for China to be strong”.

In order to achieve optimal electromagnetic performance for FAST with minimal signal interference, it was built in the South China Karst. This ultimately forced the relocation of about 9,100 inhabitants within a 3.1-mile (5km) radius of the telescope. The residents received about US$1,800 (CNY¥12,000) in reimbursement, with those experiencing difficulties with housing receiving about US$1,500 (CNY¥10,000) in extra compensation. The Chinese government supports the resettlement, with senior party official Li Yuecheng saying the relocation would provide a “sound electromagnetic wave environment”.

The telescope is now the largest-diameter single-dish radio telescope. It took the spot from the 305-meter diameter Arecibo Observatory telescope in Puerto Rico. Russia‘s RATAN-600 multi-element radio telescope has a diameter of 576 meters. This adds to China’s record-defying achievements; it contains the world’s largest bridge and the world’s longest wall, the Great Wall of China.

The telescope is set to be ready for use in September. Its possible uses include exploration for pulsars, a special type of neutron stars detected through their emission of radio pulses. Scientists have also described the telescope’s potential to explore alien civilization, with NAO Radio Astronomy Technology Laboratory director Peng Bo saying FAST’s “potential to discover an alien civilization will be 5 to 10 times that of current equipment, as it can see farther and darker planets”.



Sources[]

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