(ECNS) -- Installation of the first Planetary Atmosphere Spectroscopic Telescope (PAST) with a diameter of 0.8 meters finished in Lenghu, Qinghai Province on Sunday night, marking China’s first operation of a ground-based planetary telescope.
Lenghu enjoys unique advantages in location, weather, air cleanliness, and altitude in terms of astronomical observation. According to He Fei, a researcher of the Institute, there is currently one more telescope under construction apart from PAST, which is Jupiter's Internal Structure and Io's Geological Activity Observation Telescope (TINTIN) with a diameter of 1.8 meters.
Built by the Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, PAST is a near-ultraviolet-visible optical telescope, aiming to study the orbital motion characteristics of planets, comets, asteroids and other celestial bodies in the solar system, atmospheric and plasma distribution characteristics, along with spectral radiation characteristics.
The installation of PAST will open a new page in China’s independent ground-based planetary observation and study and promote domestic planetary science.