Sheshan: Home to Asia’s top telescope

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Updated: 2017-04-25

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Sheshan: Home to Asia’s top telescope

The Shanghai 65m Radio Telescope ("Tianma") is a landmark in Shanghai Sheshan National Tourist Resort. [Photo from WeChat: sheshanlvyou]

Towering over Shanghai Sheshan Observatory Workstation, the Shanghai 65m Radio Telescope, or Tianma, is one of the world’s biggest and most powerful telescopes.

Covering an area the size of eight basketball fields, the giant facility is powerful enough to observe celestial bodies more than 10 billion light years away.

With its huge dish standing 70 meters high with an aperture of 65 meters, the radio telescope is able to spin all the way around on its axis and has a huge frequency range, making it the highest performing telescope in Asia, according to Shanghai Sheshan National Tourist Resort.

A joint project between the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the City of Shanghai, "Tianma" has been involved in some crucial projects since it became operational in 2014.

The telescope made a big contribution to the Chang’e lunar exploration missions, one of China’s most important space projects, among others.

As a radio telescope, Tianma cannot observe the stars and nebula directly, but only receive electromagnetic signals in certain wave bands. It is the astronomers at the workstation that process this data into the incredible sky maps you can see in these images.

Sheshan: Home to Asia’s top telescope

A boat floats past the giant Shanghai 65m Radio Telescope ("Tianma"), which is about 70 meters high. [Photo from WeChat: sheshanlvyou]

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