Made up of 4,450 panels and with a width of 1,640ft (500m), the Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, dwarfs Puerto Rico’s 984ft-wide (300m) Arecibo Observatory – the previous record holder for the largest telescope.
Experts in China will be using the vast machine to scan the universe to search for life that doesn’t reside on Earth.
As the FAST telescope is so huge, it has the potential to detect even the weakest signals from the far-flung reaches of the universe.
With this telescope, China will become the world leader in scanning the cosmos, according to scientific author Michael Michaud.
He told Space.Com: “Most scientific fields had been dominated by Americans and other Westerners since the end of World War II. China is now catching up with, and in some areas surpassing, Western achievement.