Operates China's largest solar telescope

Scientists on Tuesday said they have completed manufacturing and commissioning of the China Large Solar Telescope (CLST) in Sichuan.

Picture 1 of Operates China's largest solar telescope
China's largest solar telescope is located in Chengdu, Sichuan.(Photo: Xinhua).

CLST, developed by the Institute of Optics and Electronics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has a aperture of up to 1.8 m. It is the second largest observatory Sun in the world, after the Daniel K Inouye Telescope (DKIST) in Hawaii, USA.

The device will be used to track the activity of the Sun, providing "more accurate" data to support physical research and space weather forecast, according to project leader Rao Changhui. CLST has an open structure with a retractable dome and a large mechanical derivative that keeps it facing one point as the Earth rotates.

Picture 2 of Operates China's largest solar telescope
DKIST - the world's largest solar telescope located in Hawaii.(Photo: SCMP).

In the past, China's largest solar telescope belonged to the 1-meter vacuum telescope in Yunnan province. The larger the aperture, the stronger the telescope is capable of capturing optical and electromagnetic signals, meaning it can make more accurate observations. During the test, CLST captured the first high-resolution images of the solar atmosphere.

China is building another radio solar telescope in Daocheng district, also in Sichuan province. It will have 401 antennas within a 1 km wide circle, each antenna has a diameter of 4.5 m. The device, due to be operational by 2021, is used to track the material release of corona or solar wind, helping to give early warning of any potential impact on the Earth.

  • China is building a giant solar telescope
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