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Astronomy and Astrophysics

China begins operating world's largest radio telescope

The world's largest radio telescope began searching for signals from stars and galaxies and, perhaps, extraterrestrial life Sunday in a project demonstrating China's rising ambitions in space and its pursuit of international scientific prestige.

Beijing has poured billions into such ambitious scientific projects as well as its military-backed space program, which saw the launch of China's second space station earlier this month.

Measuring 500 meters in diameter, the radio telescope is nestled in a natural basin within a stunning landscape of lush green karst formations in southern Guizhou province. It took five years and $180 million to complete and surpasses that of the...

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