Gansu Minqin builds an astronomical observation base in the desert
The base is located in the hinterland of the Tengger Desert in the northeast of the Hexi Corridor. Here there are many sunny days and little light pollution, and a clear starry sky can be observed with the naked eye at night.
In recent years, Minqin County, relying on its unique natural desert landscape and high-quality dark night starry sky resources, has made efforts to create a tourist destination for popular science research in astronomy.
In October 2018, the construction of the Desert Astronomical Observatory started. According to Qiu Peng, an engineer of the National Astronomical Observatory, the base has built a professional astronomical telescope with a diameter of 600mm. The telescope is equipped with a 4k×4k professional astronomical refrigeration camera, Johnson filter system, telescope control system, environmental monitoring system, etc., which can be carried out Exo-solar planets certification and observation research, supernova certification, gamma-burst follow-up observations, Near-Earth Asteroid search, space debris monitoring and other scientific research topics.
At present, the construction of the public astronomical platform of the base has been completed. It is equipped with a professional deep-space photography telescope system, a professional solar telescope and a popular science telescope. It can photograph deep-sky celestial bodies, and visualize the sun, moon, large planets, comets, Brighter nebula galaxy.
In 2018, Minqin County simultaneously launched the”Desert Astronomy Popular Science Featured Town” project. This characteristic town was named”Star Picking Town” and connected to the Desert Astronomy Observatory. The town takes the”Desert Star” observation as its theme. The National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences provides relevant professional technical support, combined with actual site conditions, According to the requirements of various architectural functions and characteristics, a 4000 square meter”space base” will be built on the Gobi Desert, combining 28 stars and the concept of galaxies with traditional Chinese astronomical characteristics. It is expected to be officially put into operation in March 2021.
Qiu Peng said:”Here can also be used as a scientific practice base for college and middle school students to carry out scientific experiments, exercise their scientific research capabilities, and cultivate their interest in scientific research. At the same time, professional live broadcasts will be available for major astronomical observations. , Will become one of the important sites for astronomical science observation in the high latitudes of northwest my country in the future.”