More than 9,000 people are being relocated in China before the opening of the world’s largest radio telescope later this year.
The $180 million Five Hundred Meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) in the southwestern province of Guizhou is expected to be completed in September says Xinhua News Agency. Once finished, it will become the world’s largest, overtaking the 300-meter Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.
According a senior Communist party official in Guizhou, Li Yuecheng, residents within 3 miles of the telescope had to be relocated so as to “create a sound electromagnetic wave environment.” These “evacuated” residents will get up to $1,800 in compensation from the country’s provincial reservoir and eco-migration bureau.
The radio telescope, which measures 500 meters in diameter, will be used to reflect radio signals from distant parts of the universe and help search for extraterrestrial life beyond the galaxy, reports the Guardian.