The Daocheng Solar Radio Telescope, a solar telescope array in southwest China, passed key testing on Wednesday, marking the official completion of the world’s largest synthesis aperture radio telescope. (Photo provided by National Space Science Center, the Chinese Academy of Sciences)
The Daocheng Solar Radio Telescope, a solar telescope array in southwest China, passed key testing on Wednesday, marking the official completion of the world’s largest synthesis aperture radio telescope, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
The CAS said that the telescope array is a landmark equipment of the country’s space environment ground-base comprehensive monitoring network (phase-2 Meridian Project) and will provide high-quality observation data for solar physics and space weather research in China.
In an open area at an altitude of 3,820 meters in Daocheng County, Sichuan Province, 313 parabolic antennas with a diameter of 6 meters are evenly arranged, forming a large ring with a diameter of 1 km, looking like a string of pearls lying flat on the plateau.
The testing showed that the telescope array had achieved continuous and stable solar radio imaging and spectrum observation capabilities with a maximum field of view of ten solar radii, and all technical indicators met or exceeded design requirements.
A solar radius is a unit of distance in astronomy equal to the current radius of the Sun, approximately 695,500 km.
“When the Sun sneezes, Earth may catch a cold,” said Yan Jingye, director of the project from the CAS.