China is focusing on something the U.S. has practically turned away from- the quest for extraterrestrial intelligence. The Asian giant has built the world’s largest radio dish to achieve such goal.
China now boasts of a new state-of-the-art radio dish in the country’s southwest. It is almost twice as wide that of the dish at the America’s Arecibo Observatory located in the jungle of Puerto Rico. The Chinese dish is the largest one in the whole world. The structure is said to be as long as five football fields and also “deep enough to hold two bowls of rice for every human being on the planet.”
The dish is also described as looking like “God has pressed a perfect round fingertip into the planet’s outer crust and also left behind a smooth, silver print.”
The dish is also sensitive enough to detect spy satellites even when they’re not broadcasting. The main functions of the dish, however, remain scientific including a strange one: The dish happens to be the Earth’s first flagship observatory custom-built to listen for a message from an extraterrestrial intelligence. China then can be capable of establishing the first contact with any sign that can come down from the heavens in the next decade.
Rose Andersen reveals in the Atlantic that the reason it is China and not the U.S. that is leading the search for ETs is the similarities between religion and alien-hunting and that such initiatives as the quest for ETs are gaining a “global renaissance.”
China used to lag behind in the world as far as investments in science are concerned. While it has steadily gained economic power and influence in the world, China has only recently realized that “spectacular scientific achievements” give prestige to countries.
Chinese fiction writer Liu Cixin, however, is not too keen on the prospect of making contact. He fears that such could be a dangerous game that could lead to humanity’s extinction. Anderson is more optimistic, predicting prospective innovations in arts and sciences.