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China offering $1 Million USD to one foreigner to Search for Aliens
Published on: 2017-08-07
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040China is offering one lucky, intelligent foreigner more than a million dollars plus benefits to operate the world's largest radio telescope.

The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope has an opening for chief director of scientific operation. The job has been reserved for a foreigner only and carries with it a roughly $1.9 million research grant and free housing, among other perks. The pool of contenders is shallow, as the job requires more two decades of experience, including previously heading a large-scale radio telescope project and holding a scientific position at a leading university or institution. But local experts said being in charge of what's been called humanity's best chance yet to discover extraterrestrial life is a worthwhile position.

"FAST is a portal to new discoveries. For an astronomer, running FAST could be the opportunity of a lifetime," said Wang Tinggui, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Science and Technology of Hefei, Anhui.

The job does come with some serious drawbacks, he warned. "It is not a job for a scientist. It's for a superhero," Wang added.

The Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) stands in Pingtang, in southwestern China's Guizhou province. China is offering one foreign scientist more than a million dollars plus benefits to run the telescope, which has been used to serve for extraterrestrial life.

The rush to build FAST and get it operational, allowing it to take over from Puerto Rico's Arecibo radio telescope as the world's largest in September 2016, also reportedly left plenty of FAST's features undertested. Whoever gets the job will likely be tasked with making sure the telescope runs smoothly.

Still, this employment opportunity has the potential to attract the bravest among the world's leading astronomers, especially those interested in discovering life beyond Earth. Peng Bo, director of the Chinese Academy of Science's Radio Astronomy Technology Laboratory, said last year that the more than $178 million telescope's "potential to discover an alien civilization will be five to 10 times that of current equipment as it can see farther and darker planets," . Prior to FAST's completion, Chinese Astronomical Society Director-General Wu Xiangping said the device's unmatched reach may even reveal clues about how the world began.

The telescope's construction reportedly displaced up to 9,000 locals, but the enormous fixture has attracted crowds of tourists who have speculated as to whether the site's operators may be hearing from aliens anytime soon. While up to 2,500 pulsars-neutron stars central to the quest for other Earth-like planets-have been discovered over the years, FAST's creators are looking to increase this number by 1,000, a feat that experts have said could lead to groundbreaking discoveries beyond our solar system.

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