China’s FAST opens 2024 global applications for free observation projects

The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), southwest China’s Guizhou Province, April 11, 2023. /CFP

The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), southwest China’s Guizhou Province, April 11, 2023. /CFP

China’s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), the world’s largest single-dish and most sensitive radio telescope, opened global applications for free observation projects on Saturday, according to the telescope’s official website.

The telescope, located in a naturally deep and round karst depression in southwest China’s Guizhou Province, has observed celestial phenomena for no less than 5,000 hours per year since it started operation in January 2020.

Currently, FAST is conducting scientific observation missions, including pulsar search, pulsar time survey, neutral hydrogen survey and fast radio bursts.

As of the beginning of this year, the total number of pulsars observed by FAST has exceeded 890 with its ultra-high sensitivity.

FAST has received applications from 15 countries and approved a total of nearly 900 hours of observation access for foreign research teams since March 31, 2021.

The telescope is currently accepting global applications from August 2024 to July 2025, with the deadline for submissions set for May 15, 2024, at 16:00 UT, according to its website.