Taking the long view

telescope project leaders around the world are reaching for the stars -- and coping with earthly limitations

Outer reaches of space will soon seem a bit closer: Organizations are rolling out massive telescope projects of a scale and scope never before seen. "It is indeed a golden age of astronomy," says Patrick McCarthy, PhD, interim president, Giant Magellan Telescope Organization, Pasadena, California, USA. The biggest building boom in the history of astronomy spans the globe -- and is pushing into uncharted technological territory. A project team in Guizhou, China, for example, is set to complete work on the Five-Hundred-Meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), which as the world's largest radio telescope will be capable of detecting radio signals from tens of billions of light years away.
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