China and the United States plan to jointly build

2022-10-12
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China and the United States plan to jointly build the world's largest astronomical telescope

what was the universe like 13billion years ago? Are there aliens outside the solar system? How did galaxies form after the big bang These problems cannot be solved by current astronomical technology. Now, China and the United States are negotiating to jointly build the world's largest astronomical telescope to solve many mysteries of the vast universe

"this project is a huge project that cannot be completed by one country. It requires the participation of the international community, including China. It will determine the development direction of physics and astronomy in the next 60 or 70 years." Qian Miao, President of the California Institute of technology, said in an interview with Xinhua news agency at the National Astronomical Observatory in Beijing on August 28

the project Qian Miao refers to is the 30 meter giant optical/Infrared Telescope (TMT) under development. The project is led by the University of California and the California Institute of technology, and has been participated by Canada and Japan. Qian Miao and Yang Zuyou, President of the University of California, SantaBarbara, visited China this time to conduct specific consultations on TMT cooperation

from Galileo's use of a "tube" with a diameter of only 4.4 cm to the development of a giant telescope with a diameter of 30 meters to look up at the sky 400 years ago, human beings have never stopped observing the sky through telescopes, and their exploration of the universe is getting farther and deeper

at present, developed countries are seeking to jointly build giant astronomical observation equipment within the warranty period. In addition to TMT, the United States is also planning to develop giant Magellan telescopes, and Europe is also planning to build giant telescopes

due to its early start, TMT has become the largest astronomical telescope in the world. In addition to its huge size, its sensitivity is more than 100 times higher than that of Hubble, and it can capture the cosmic scene 13billion light-years away. Its resolution is also more than ten times that of Hubble

"(this telescope) can detect the sky of the universe all the way. You can see how big the universe is. Looking back, you can see that 13billion years ago, the beginning of the big bang." Yang Zuyou said

"TMT allows scientists to see the early stages of the universe and how galaxies and black holes are formed. It will also change our understanding of the universe." Qian Miao said

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at the same time, this world's most advanced astronomical telescope can also provide technical support for exploring whether there is life outside the solar system. Chen Jiansheng, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and chairman of the astrophysical development strategy expert research association, told Xinhua that using the high resolution and clarity of TMT, the atmospheric spectra of distant planets can be observed. If there is life, the spectrum will be different. If the spectrum of water vapor, carbon dioxide or methane is found, it is possible to determine the existence of life

at present, the TMT project plans to invest US $1billion, with a service life of at least 60 years. The countries participating in the cooperation will obtain the corresponding telescope observation time according to the investment proportion. In July this year, TMT selected the location of the observatory at the top of Mauna Kea mountain in Hawaii

"due to TMT's large investment, advanced technology and stringent Observatory addressing requirements, it must rely on international cooperation and joint investment." Chen Jiansheng said, "with the development of astronomy in China today, international cooperation must be strengthened and research cannot be carried out behind closed doors."

however, Chen Jiansheng also said that considering the benefits, funding, risk-taking and other factors of China's accession to TMT, the specific details of the negotiation will continue. Whether China can finally formally join TMT and further simplify and facilitate the people and benefit the enterprise MT has not been finalized

in fact, every development and breakthrough of telescopes has led to major discoveries in astronomy and a leap in human understanding of the universe. Hengrun instrument is people-oriented

"through TMT, we can detect the unknown mysteries of the universe and meet human desire for knowledge." Yang Zuyou said

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