Chinese astronomers hope to build a large observatory on the roof of the world Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, The new research believes that the highlands have primitive observation conditions.
The focus of the analysis is on a research site near Lenghu Town in Qinghai Province, which is more than 2.5 miles (4.2 kilometers) above sea level and approximately 1,900 miles (3,000 kilometers) west of Beijing. In this paper, the scientists argued that three years of monitoring showed conditions comparable to those of some of the most famous scientific outposts. EarthIn addition, the use of this site will fill the gaps in scientists’ existing global network of high-altitude, high-caliber observatories, so that fast-changing phenomena such as supernovae can be monitored more reliably.Now, the top observatory cluster in the Western Hemisphere-think about it Mauna Kia In Hawaii, Chile’s Paranal Mountains and La Palma in the Canary Islands.
He Fei, an optical expert at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said: “In China, finding a good place in space on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is crucial to the development of Chinese astronomy and planetary science.” In Beijing, he wrote in a letter. Tell Space.com in the email.
The initiative is highly concerned with China Construction of new technological facilities Around the world, Dean Zheng, an expert on Chinese military and space activities at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative public policy think tank based in Washington, DC, told Space.com.
“Astronomy is the top priority,” Cheng said. “Whether in China or abroad, they are busy improving their space surveillance capabilities, space observation capabilities, and the scientific capabilities we have seen in their Mars and Moon missions.”
The location analyzed in the new study is located on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, but not in the main part of Tibet. China invaded Tibet in 1959, and tensions there continued to rise.Qinghai Province is next door, but about A quarter of the population is TibetanAccording to Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese government news agency.
According to Xinhua News Agency, although the study was submitted in February this year, the observatory on site is already under construction.Information Bureau Announced in April 2020 A Chinese university and local government have agreed to build a wide-field survey telescope (WFST), a 2.5-meter optical telescope, scheduled to start work in 2022.
Before focusing on the site near Lenghu Town, the scientists behind the new study set up equipment at three other locations in the early stages of the study (2016 to 2018). But the town of Cold Lake is a particularly attractive location, he writes, and has an urbanized coast on the other side of the country.
In addition, local government officials invited the team to conduct an analysis. “Lenghu Lake is known for its unusually sunny communities, and at the same time, the Cold Lake area also has similar MarsTherefore, the local government hopes to develop tourism that specializes in astronomy and planetary science,” he wrote.
Therefore, He and his colleagues set out to hike to Sai Shiteng Mountain, which is about 13,800 feet (4,200 meters) above sea level, which is about 200 feet (60 meters) higher than the Keck Observatory in Hawaii. The elevation of the website is the key: The atmosphere of the earth As a result, astronomical observations are blurred. The higher the position of the telescope, the fewer atmospheric instruments that must penetrate.
Other factors also attracted the team from the new analysis. The sky is relatively dark, and Lenghu officials have formulated regulations to keep the background light at a low level. According to the 30-year weather records studied by the team, the annual precipitation at this location is only 0.71 inches (18 mm) and the sunshine duration is 3,500 hours. The researchers said that the team’s analysis of factors such as air stability, turbulence, and water vapor is also very promising.
Of course, the altitude and remoteness that caused this dark sky are also logistical challenges.
“Before this road reaches the top of Saishenteng Mountain, necessary building materials and tools are transported to the site by helicopter, and scientific equipment is transported to the mountain by hand,” he wrote. A team member saw the wolf, and the thick snow was a regular challenge.
This is unlikely to frustrate the plan to build an observatory. Cheng pointed out that at present, China is quite focusing on the construction of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, especially Tibet itself. In view of the tension between China and India, which possesses nuclear weapons, Tibet itself is also a key strategic area.
“They are on top of the world on the top of the Himalayas,” he said. “The Chinese are building large-scale infrastructure-roads, railways, air bases, military bases, camps-and moving in a lot of military equipment.”
During the ascent of the mountain, the team members had a conversation with the local residents of Lenghu Town. Although the author noted that local officials are enthusiastic about the prospect of welcoming astronomy to the site, it is unclear whether residents agree.
He said that approximately 3,000 people live in the town, which is approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the site analyzed. “We usually talk about how the development of Cold Lake astronomy and planetary science has made their lives better,” he wrote of conversations with residents.
“Scientific development will attract more tourists to travel here, promote the development of local tourism, and allow them to make more money,” he wrote. “When walking down the street at night, we will also introduce Star And what kind of tourism the planet gives them and can develop. At the same time, we also talked about the indispensable dark night protection for the observatory’s development, and they are happy to make sacrifices for this. “
Some of these sacrifices have already been put into action. “If the local population grows with economic development, then control of light pollution may be lost,” the author Write on paperBut the leaders of Cold Lake knew that in order to avoid this threat, strict dark sky protection measures were entered and passed in 2017-part of what makes the site so attractive to researchers, they wrote.
The results are amazing. “Up to the top of the mountain, you can see the fantastic Martian landscape of the Qaidam Basin during the day, and the magnificent and beautiful starry sky at night,” he wrote. “This is very unforgettable.”
The study is described in Paper Published in the journal Nature on Wednesday (August 18).
Copyright 2021 Spacenet, A future company. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.