Thursday, November 03, 2016

China to build Antarctic astronomical observatory

China is near to building a South Pole Astronomical Observatory, according to four astronomers onboard the Chinese scientific icebreaker Xuelong (or Snow Dragon), which left the port of Shanghai Wednesday for China's 33th Antarctic Expedition.

One of the astronomers on the trip is hoping that being far from home really does make the heart grow fonder. "I am going to propose to my girlfriend from the South Pole," said Lu Haiping, 32, before he set off.

He and his colleagues have embarked on a five-and-a-half-month trip to the South Pole, though it is not love they are interested in but the stars.

The team includes an astronomer from the National Astronomical Observatories and three from the Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology.

China has sent astronomers to the region every year since 2007 to make preparations to build an astronomical observatory on Dome-A, the highest location in Antarctica, about 4,093 meters above sea level.

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