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World's Largest Radio Telescope Draws Crowds

World's Largest Radio Telescope Draws Crowds  World's Largest Radio Telescope Draws Crowds

The world's largest radio telescope, located in the mountainous province of Guizhou in southwest China, has given a substantial boost to local tourism despite heightened security, strict technological measures that include a phone ban and a cap on the daily number of visitors. Since the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) opened to the public in March 2017, gross tourism income and the number of tourists have both increased by more than 40% on a year-on-year basis, reported Chinese news media Xinhua. The first half of the year saw the host county of Pingtang earn 5.5 billion yuan ($804 million) in tourism revenue. It also received a total of 5.3 million tourists, more than half of which came from outside the province, stated Chinese media ECNS. Local authorities are controlling the impact of tourists on scientific research at FAST, with a limit of 2,000 people per day. There is a blanket ban on technology, such as smartphones, wearables and tablets, in order to reduce electromagnetic interference and adhere to the so-called 'quiet area' around the dish. Photography is also only permitted using manual cameras from designated viewing platforms.

 

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