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Five-hundred Aperture Spherical Telescope : Discovered Five New Pulsars

Five-hundred Aperture Spherical Telescope : Discovered Five New Pulsars

Using the Five-hundred Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), astronomers from China and Australia have recently discovered five new pulsars.

  • Five-hundred Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) is a radio telescope in China’s Guizhou Province.
  • It is the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope, with a receiving area equivalent to 30 football fields.
  • It measures 500 meters in diameter.
  • Scientific Goals:
    • Detect neutral hydrogen at the edge of the universe; reconstruct the images of the early universe;
    • Discover pulsars, establish a pulsar timing array, and participate in pulsar navigation and gravitational wave detection in the future;
    • Join the International Very-Long-Baseline Interferometry Network to obtain hyperfine structures of celestial bodies;
    • Perform high resolution radio spectral survey. Detect weak space signals;
    • Participate in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
  • FAST uses a data system developed at ICRAR (International Center for Radio Astronomy) in Perth, Australia, and at ESO (European Southern Observatory) to manage the huge amounts of data it generates.


  • Pulsars are rapidly rotating neutron stars that blast out pulses of radiation at regular intervals ranging from seconds to milliseconds.
  • Pulsars have strong magnetic fields that funnel particles along their magnetic poles, accelerating them to relativistic speeds, which produce two powerful beams of light, one from each pole.