China’s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope, has identified 114 new pulsars since its trial operation began in September 2016.
The gigantic telescope carried out nearly 1,000 hours of observation from Jan. 1 to March 23, 2020, according to the FAST Operation and Development Center of the National Astronomical Observatories of China.
A pulsar is a highly magnetized, rotating neutron star, which emits two beams of electromagnetic radiation.
Pulsar observation is an important task for FAST, which can be used to confirm the existence of gravitational radiation and black holes, and help solve many other major questions in physics.
FAST is also in charge of the exploration of interstellar molecules and interstellar communication signals.
Located in a naturally deep and round karst depression in southwest China’s Guizhou Province, FAST is believed to be the world’s most sensitive radio telescope. It started formal operation on Jan. 11, 2020 after it passed a national assessment.