China will install a new optical telescope on the Pamirs, which will be the third largest in the country, according to Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The telescope will be placed at the Muztagh observatory in southern Xinjiang's Aketao County.
The observatory is at an altitude of 4,520 meters. Its best seeing, which means the sharpness of a telescopic image, can reach 0.4 seconds of arc. In winter, the moisture content in the atmosphere at the site is often less than two millimeters, and the towering Mount Kongur blocks the light interference from cities, said Wang Na, director of Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory.
Wang noted that the excellent optical observation conditions at Muztagh are quite rare in the country and can be compared with world-class optical observatories.
The 1.9-meter optical telescope is currently the third-largest universal optical telescope in China and is planned to be put into operation in June 2024.
Wang added that Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory hopes to attract more large astronomical projects to the Muztagh site, thereby making it a world-class astronomical observation and research base.