China to build observatory in Tibet

April 13, 2012 at 3:58 PM
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LHASA, Tibet, April 13 (UPI) -- A remote area in southwest Tibet may be chosen as the location for a new international astronomical observatory, a leading Chinese astronomer said.

A possible location for the new observatory will be in the mountains in Ngari prefecture of China's Tibet autonomous region at an altitude of 16,700 feet, astronomer Yao Yongqiang told China's state-run news agency Xinhua.

Yao, chief researcher with the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, made the announcement in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa Thursday.

The proposed observatory will enable scientists from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea to build large-scale telescopes and carry out joint research programs, he said.

Astronomical telescopes will be installed at the Ngari observatory this year to carry out research on planetary science, star formation, Gamma-ray bursts and other astronomical projects, Yao said.

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