China will solicit proposals worldwide for astronomical observations using FAST, the world's largest filled-aperture radio telescope, from April 1 to May 15, Wu Xiangping, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told Xinhua.
The results of the reviewed proposals will be announced on July 20, and observation times will start to be arranged in August.
FAST, or the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope, is open to the world for use. This demonstrates China's commitment as a major country and its practice of the idea of a community with a shared future for humankind, said Wu, also a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
The comprehensive performance of the telescope is more than 10 times higher than that of other radio telescopes in the world, significantly expanding the limits of human observation of the universe, according to Wu.
FAST has identified over 300 pulsars so far. Wu predicts that the number could reach 1,000 in five years and that the telescope could locate and identify the first pulsar outside the Galaxy.
"China is ushering in a golden age of radio astronomy development," said Wu. "We should use the precious window period to make major scientific discoveries and significant contributions to human exploration and understanding of the universe."