China Telescope to Displace 9,000 Villagers in Hunt for Extraterrestrials

Feb 17, 2016

Photo credit: Credit European Pressphoto Agency

By Edward Wong

More than 9,000 Chinese villagers are leaving their homes to make way for aliens.

It is not a colonization plan from outer space. The Chinese government is relocating thousands of villagers to complete construction by September of the world’s biggest radio telescope, whose intended purpose is to detect signs of extraterrestrial life.

The telescope would be 500 meters, or 1,640 feet, in diameter, by far the largest of its kind in the world. It is called FAST, for Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, and costs an estimated 1.2 billion renminbi, or $184 million.

The mass relocation was announced on Tuesday in a report by Xinhua, the state news agency. The report said officials were relocating 2,029 families, a total of 9,110 people, living within a three-mile radius of the telescope in the area of Pingtang and Luodian Counties in the southwestern province of Guizhou.


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12 comments on “China Telescope to Displace 9,000 Villagers in Hunt for Extraterrestrials

  • @OP- China Telescope to Displace 9,000 Villagers in Hunt for Extraterrestrials

    Don’t those media hype artists love their extraterrestrials!

    I suppose they have no idea what else radio telescopes do!

    http://earthsky.org/todays-image/china-five-hundred-meter-aperture-spherical-telescope

    A possible application is to listen for radio waves from other advanced civilizations, but there are many astronomical questions as well, which the telescope will help answer.

    .Li Di, the chief scientist of the National Astronomical Observatories Chinese Academy of Sciences, said:

    FAST will remain the best in the world in the next 20 to 30 years after it is completed. FAST can answer questions not only limited to astronomy but questions about humanity and nature. The scientific potential of this telescope is hard to predict.



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  • Interesting how some minds, when presented with the idea that there may be life on other planets, jump straight to the possibility that ET lives out there somewhere, or even worse, that there are Klingons, Romulans, and God forbid; the Ferengi.



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  • To assume that there is “life” is almost a no brainer…. but what constitutes Life? We are pretty much chauvenistic as what we perceive as life!…. And at what stage in evolution? It may very well be that we are alone in our galaxy as to whether there are a communicative type of life with the same sensory perceptions as we have or any Earth bound organism! Any search would be based on our definition of what life could or should be! It could be in the future that we find that an alien type that is so strange that we have never thought of such a creature could exist and is constructed of pure enery.Wouldn’t it be amazing to find that stars, themselves, have a conciousness?



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  • Jim
    Feb 17, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    To assume that there is “life” is almost a no brainer…. but what constitutes Life?

    Even if we restrain our definitions to: “self-replicating molecules”, and “reproducing replicating organisms”, there are vast tracts of galaxies where the chemistry, physical conditions, and time-scales, are not compatible with these activities.



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  • Richard Cooper
    Feb 17, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    I suppose if the peasants have been moved out of their land that will make them “extra terrestrial” themselves. How ironic!

    The telescope uses a rare land-form, so there are limited options for alternative sites.
    The displaced people are being compensated for moving, but I am not sure how far the level of payment reflects their needs under local prices and conditions.

    It is quite usual to relocate people when sites are required for major projects such as reservoirs or hydro-electric schemes.



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  • 7
    fadeordraw says:

    “A bill under consideration in Mississippi would allow science teachers to bring creationism and climate change denial into the classroom.
    House Bill 50 “encourages students to explore scientific questions” and allows teachers to discuss “weaknesses” in the approved curriculum…(referring) … specifically to biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning.”

    Actually, as written, if we are actually referring to science class and the person teaching is a trained science teacher, I would have no problem with the proposed legislation. For the approved curriculum there will be lots of evidence-based intel on the subject matter. This will not be the case for the bug-a-boo creationism, which fundamentally is a faith-based, belief system and would be demonstrated to be so under scientific approach. I think the climate change discussions would be more educational. Climate change is about homo sapiens’ effluence being so extensive that it’s significantly influencing weather in a way that is detrimental to homo sapiens’ communities. Folks who deny this proposition, are simply taking the position that it doesn’t matter and no coordinated action is required. The proponents warn of devastation, with “scientific evidence”, and sometimes hysterically or with desperation, and call upon governments and industry to take action. What a fine discussion! If only to have students contemplate the idea that homo sapiens have, as a species, grown so well on the planet, and there doesn’t seem to be an abatement, that we are amazingly influencing the operations of the thing.



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  • fadeordraw #7
    Feb 17, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Actually, as written, if we are actually referring to science class and the person teaching is a trained science teacher, I would have no problem with the proposed legislation. For the approved curriculum there will be lots of evidence-based intel on the subject matter.

    True, – but then it does not require legislation for science teachers to discuss the merits of scientific evidence in class, so at best this legislation is irrelevant, and as we know from other comments in the OP, seeks to introduce opportunities to present ambiguity and created false doubts about evidenced science, using spurious opinions from the deluded ignorant as substitutes for science.



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  • 9
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    @moderator

    Don’t posts #7 and #8 belong in a different thread?…. The one about teaching creationism in science classes that strangely disappeared for about a day and reappeared earlier today?



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  • @OP – The telescope would be 500 meters, or 1,640 feet, in diameter, by far the largest of its kind in the world. It is called FAST, for Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, and costs an estimated 1.2 billion renminbi, or $184 million.

    I wonder what not spotting an Earth-crossing asteroid before impact could cost us?



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  • Alan4discussion #10
    Feb 17, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    I wonder what not spotting an Earth-crossing asteroid before impact could cost us?

    It seems that 11 days before I wrote that, we now discover that we did miss one!

    Fortunately it was relatively small and burned up over the Atlantic!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35645854

    The biggest fireball since the Chelyabinsk explosion has plunged through the atmosphere over the Atlantic Ocean.

    .The event, which has only just come to light, occurred off the coast of Brazil at 13:55 GMT on 6 February.

    As it burned up, the space rock released the equivalent of 13,000 tonnes of TNT.

    This makes it the most powerful event of its kind since an object exploded over Chelyabinsk in Russia in 2013.

    That blast was much bigger, releasing the equivalent of 500,000 tonnes of TNT.

    More than 1,000 people were injured in that incident on 15 February three years ago, most from flying glass from shattered windows.

    But the fireball over the Atlantic probably went unnoticed; it burnt up about 30km above the ocean surface, 1,000km off the Brazilian coast.

    Nasa listed the event on its Fireball and Bolide Reports web page.

    Measurements suggest that about 30 small asteroids (between 1m and 20m in size) burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere every year.

    Because most of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, most of these fall over the ocean and do not affect populated areas.

    Perhaps we really should be investing in better telescopes and wider coverage, before something bigger appears out of the blue on a less glancing trajectory!



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