China is building the world’s largest refractor telescope with a 1-meter aperture and is located more than 3,000 meters in Tibet to search for nearby asteroids.
The refracting telescope is the most common of all. The model that comes to mind when we think of a domestic telescope made up of a cylinder with more or less diameter and length. In fact, refracting telescopes were the first to be devised and had more than 400 years to their credit.
The operation of the telescope is relatively simple from a technological point of view. The light captured by the lens is refracted and concentrated at a point, providing a sharp, shining image of objects far away.
Of course, they have nothing to do with what is currently being developed in China, where a team of engineers has already begun to manufacture the largest in the world with an opening -or diameter- of 1 meter.
The goal of the next Chinese telescope is to observe the stars and planets like never before. Scientists, according to China Daily, are already working on construction in the regional capital of Lhasa, which belongs to the autonomous region of Tibet. And it is that this particular area of Tibet is one of the best in the world to carry out this task. Lahsa’s average altitude is around 3,600 meters above sea level. A privileged position that joins the remoteness of the place and the clear skies most of the time.
“Scientists will use the refractor to conduct sky surveys, including monitoring near-Earth asteroids,” said Wang Junjuem, deputy director of the regional department of science and technology.
The project is directed by the network of National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences with an important weight in the work of dissemination on astronomy.
Scientists working on the telescope will use the Internet to post the images and videos captured by the device. A content that promises to be extraordinary, thanks to the resolution that they will reach and that will be able to help discover more celestial objects.
When the telescope is completed, it will be installed in a planetarium that will begin construction this year and will become the highest astronomical observatory in the world.
Currently, and according to Guinness World Records, the largest refractor telescope in the world is the one located at the Yerkes Observatory. A device that is dating from 1897 and featuring a 1.02-meter primary lens. The second of them, in use, is the Swedish Solar Telescope installed at the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory (La Palma) La Palma with 97 centimeters in diameter.
At the moment, the exact measurements of the Chinese telescope are not known, but if it wants to consolidate itself as the largest in the world, it will have to deal with the 1.02 meters of the American.