China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, has opened to global scientists and began accepting observation applications from astronomers starting from March 31.
Over the years, telescopes used to observe celestial bodies have gotten larger and larger. Before the construction of China's FAST was completed, the radio telescope in the U.S. Arecibo Observatory was the world's largest for 53 years.
The iconic Arecibo radio telescope was decommissioned last year due to damage that was too dangerous to repair. During its operation, the telescope contributed to two Nobel Prize discoveries, as well as a catalog of astronomy work.
Britain's Lovell Telescope was built by Sir Bernard Lovell and engineer Sir Charles Husband. With a diameter of 76.2 meters, it was the world's largest steerable dish radio telescope upon completion in 1957.
The Lovell Telescope was known for tracking U.S. and Russian spacecraft in the last century during the space race.
It was later surpassed in size, first by the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, U.S., and then by the Effelsberg Radio Telescope in Germany.