China loves to trump the world when it has to build anything. So whatever it builds, it could be pointless sometimes, but it has to have the highest superlative against its name. They’re now building the World’s highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes, a stone’s throw away from the country’s border with India. Being built at a budget of USD 18.8 Million, these telescopes will help detect the faintest of echoes resonating from the Universe and tell us, or only them, more about the Big Bang Theory. Not at all pointless then.
The telescope, located 5,250 meters above sea level, will detect and gather precise data on primordial gravitational waves in the Northern Hemisphere and is expected to be operational by 2021. Construction has started for the first telescope, code-named Ngari No 1, 30 km south of Shiquanhe Town in Ngari Prefecture. When ready, the Ngari observatory will be among the world’s top primordial gravitational wave observation bases, alongside the South Pole Telescope and another such facility in Chile’s Atacama Desert.
A second phase of construction will see a series of telescopes being erected at a height of 6000 meters above sea level. Apparently, Ngari, with its high altitude, clear skies and minimal human activity is said to be one of the world’s best spots to detect tiny twists in cosmic light.