Sheshan Observatory

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Updated: 2012-05-17

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Sheshan Observatory on the top of West Sheshan Mountain is one of the oldest astronomical observatory in China. The silver hemispherical building stands in contrast to the Marian Basilica. It was built in the 25th year of Emperor Guangxu's reign in the Qing Dynasty (1899).

Inside it, there is one of China's oldest astronomical telescopes. In 1898, priest Cai Shangzhi initiated and raised funds to order from France a binocular refracting astronomical telescope with a diameter of 40 centimeters and a focal length of 7 meters, and an iron dome for the observatory. In 1901, Sheshan Observatory was installed and Cai Shangzhi became the first president.

In 1962, Sheshan Observatory was merged with Xujiahui Observatory and was renamed the Sheshan Workstation of Shanghai Observatory by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In the 1970s, great headway was made in Chinese astronomy. The scientific research personnel of Shanghai Observatory designed a 156 cm astronomical optical refracting telescope.

It was successfully made in 1987. This telescope was second to none in China in terms of optical astronomical observations. Domestic and foreign astronomical research institutions often assign people to visit and carry out experiments here. The observatory enjoys a great reputation.

Sheshan Observatory is one of the top five astronomical research centers in China. It is also China's only joint monitoring institution participating in international earth rotation and earth satellite tracking by applying high astronomical technologies. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, it has made more than 30 domestic and international achievements in astronomical science and technology. It is a wonder that a scientific building and a religious building in different styles and for different purposes are on top of the same mountain.

Sheshan Observatory
Sheshan Observatory

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