The truth is out there and China intends to find it. The nation is building the world’s largest radio telescope in an attempt to detect alien life in outer space. They’re also displacing more than 9,000 people who live around this apparatus.
According to Xinhua, the government will move 9,110 residents who live within 5 kilometers of the telescope to other countries in Guizhou province, where the telescope is located. They’ll get 12,000 yuan (which is just shy of $2,000) for their trouble, with ethnic minorities getting more. An official said the moves are necessary for the telescope’s protection, specifically, to create an “sound electromagnetic wave environment” for the apparatus to work properly.
Mashable has more background on the telescope itself. It’s called the Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope, and is 500 meters in diameter. Construction started in March 2011, and is expected to finish in September. The next largest radio telescope is in Puerto Rico, and is 300 meters in diameter.
The telescope costs $183 million to construct, and will be able to detect radio signals that are tens of billions of light years away with its 4,600 triangular panels. Maybe the Chinese government will focus on this mysterious star that the Kepler telescope discovered.
Anyway, sorry, displaced residents. Just know that your sacrifice will probably lead to an alien invasion or something.