Chinese scientists are working to create the world's largest refractor telescope in the Tibet Autonomous Region for observing stars and planets.
Construction of an optical telescope with an aperture of one meter has already begun in the city of Lhasa, the administrative center of TAP, said Wang Junjie, deputy director of the District Science and Technology Administration.
High above sea level, Tibet, with its clear sky conditions, is considered one of the best places in the world to observe celestial bodies.
A telescope refractor is an instrument that uses a combination of lenses to capture images of distant objects in space that are invisible to the naked eye.
Scientists will use the refractor to conduct sky research, including monitoring near-Earth asteroids, Wang Junjie added.
The telescope project, led by the State Astronomical Observatory, also aims to popularize astronomical science. Scientists can use the Internet to host images, video files, and interactive features from the unique perspective of a large telescope.
According to Wang Junjie, the one-meter refractor will be installed at the district planetarium, which is likely to begin construction this year. When completed, it will become the world's highest planetarium.
Recall that in September 2016, the world's most powerful radio telescope FAST, which is located in Guizhou province, was commissioned in China. The diameter of its reflector is 500 meters. That's 200 meters more than FAST's closest rival, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. The telescope took five years to complete. It cost RMB 1.2 billion ($ 180 million).