Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: China began operations of the world's largest radio telescope on Sunday in the mountainous region of Guizhou province.
Around noon, hundreds of astronomers and astronomy enthusiasts gathered in a valley in Pingtang country to witness the official launch of the Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope's (FAST) mission to explore space and hunt for extraterrestrial life, Xinhua news agency reported.
Work on the nearly 1.2 billion-yuan ($180 million) project started in 2011, 17 years after it was proposed by Chinese astronomers.
The installation of the telescope's main structure -- a 4,450-panel reflector as large as 30 football pitches -- was finished in early July.