The 500-metre aperture spherical telescope (FAST) in China's Pingtang county.

A piece of advanced Australian technology is being installed on the world's largest radio telescope in China — highlighting science as a bright spot amid rocky relations with China.

Key points:

  • 19-beam receiver is undergoing final testing
  • CSIRO-made device will rapidly accelerate telescope's observations of the universe
  • 14-month-old telescope has discovered two new pulsars which have been verified by Australian experts

The 19-beam receiver — the largest yet built — is undergoing final testing before installation at the 500-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) in southern Guizhou province.

The massive telescope, built in remote hills more than two hours from the nearest city, started operations last September after five years of construction and many more of planning.

But it will rapidly accelerate its observations of the universe once the new CSIRO-made device is hoisted above the 4,500 panels of the dish.

"The 19-beam receiver system can broaden the field of view of the telescope and can greatly increase the speed with which we do surveys," said Dr Fan Jin, an electronics engineer with the FAST project.

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that's one large telescope 

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