GUIZHOU – China completed construction of the world’s largest radio telescope in the southwestern Guizhou Province on Sunday, which will be used to hunt for signs of alien life in deep space.

According to the Xinhua news agency, the Single-Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), as it is known, is an enormous dish made up of 4,450 reflector panels with a diameter of half a kilometer and an area the size of roughly 30 football pitches. The project required the relocation of more than 9000 people.

Once up and running, FAST will be capable of detecting radio signals from as far off as one thousand light years.

The radio telescope’s diameter of 500 ms (1600-feet) makes it the largest single-aperture telescope in the Earth.

The telescope was constructed in a coastal depression, which will protect it from electromagnetic interferences.