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With Massive Radio Telescope, China Takes World's Lead In Search For Alien Life10:52Download

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This picture taken on Sept. 24, 2016 shows the Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) in Pingtang, in southwestern China's Guizhou province. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)MoreCloseclosemore
This picture taken on Sept. 24, 2016 shows the Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) in Pingtang, in southwestern China's Guizhou province. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

High in the Karst mountains of southwest China now stands the world's largest radio telescope. The massive dish — five football fields wide and composed of 4,450 panels — will collect radio signals from distant corners of the universe, looking for signs of extraterrestrial life.

Ross Andersen, science editor at The Atlantic, recently visited the facility, and had the opportunity to talk to some of China's leading astronomers and writers about the project and its implications. Andersen (@andersen) joins Here & Now's Robin Young to discuss the radio telescope and its capabilities.

This segment aired on November 16, 2017.

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