Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

CSIRO Technology behind World’s Largest Telescope

By David Reneke

CSIRO technology is behind the world’s largest single dish radio telescope, and astronomers have found a peanut-shaped galaxy.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

The National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has teamed up with CSIRO engineers to develop the world’s largest single dish radio telescope. The 500-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) easily dwarfs the current largest single dish telescope, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. It will also be one of the most sensitive, capable of receiving weaker and more distant radio signals, in turn helping to explore the nature, origins and evolution of the universe.

The telescope’s 19-beam receiver is being designed and built in Australia by CSIRO engineers. “This is a really exciting project and builds on 40 years of CSIRO collaboration with Chinese industry and research organisations,” said CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall.

Most radio telescopes use receivers that can only access one part of sky at a time, but CSIRO scientists have designed receivers with many separate, simultaneous beams, making it practical for FAST to search a large portion of the sky for faint and hidden galaxies. “The powerful receiver we’ve created for FAST is the result of our long history developing cutting-edge astronomy technology to receive and amplify radio waves from space,” said Acting Director CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Dr Douglas Bock. “Extending our technology and collaboration to China and working on what will become the world’s...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.