China's wide-field survey telescope put into operation

2023-09-17 ECNS App Download

A wide-field telescope, which is capable of surveying the entire sky from the Northern Hemisphere, was put into operation in northwest China's Qinghai Province on Sunday.  

The telescope has released the first image it observed of the Andromeda Galaxy, marking the facility reaching the designed standard for astronomical research.  

Measuring 2.5 meters in diameter, the Wide Field Survey Telescope (WFST) is now the largest time-domain survey facility in the Northern Hemisphere.  

It was jointly developed by the University of Science and Technology of China and the Purple Mountain Observatory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  

"The use of the WFST will greatly improve China's near-Earth object monitoring and early warning capabilities," said Kong Xu, the project's chief designer at the University of Science and Technology of China.  

Construction of the telescope project started in July 2019 in Lenghu Town, which has an average altitude of approximately 4,000 meters. The town is also known as China's "Mars Camp" due to its eerily eroded desert landscape that resembles the surface of the red planet.  

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