Photo/National Astronomical Observatories handout via Xinhua
Chinese astronomers signed an agreement with officials of the Qinghai provincial government on Wednesday in Beijing to jointly build a world-class astronomical observation base on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, known as "the roof of the world."
After three years of monitoring, researchers from the National Astronomical Observatories under the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that the Lenghu area, which is located on the Saishiteng Mountain in the northwestern province of Qinghai, would be an ideal location to build an astronomical observatory.
The research team published a paper in the journal Nature in August saying that the Lenghu area has the advantages of the plateau region's clear night skies, stable atmospheric conditions and dry climate, meaning it has the potential to become one of the world's best observatory sites, as good as the existing sites in Hawaii and Chile.
According to scientists, the construction of the Lenghu astronomical observation base will provide key support for the development of optical astronomy, planetary science and deep space explorations in China.