NARIT team visits Xinglong Observatory

March 9, 2017

Xinglong Observatory, Xinglong County, Hebei Province, PRC.

Prof. Boonrucksar Soonthornthum, NARIT Executive Director led NARIT team to visit Xinglong Observatory as part of their visit to the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC). Prof. Xiaojun Jiang, Director of Xinglong Observatory displayed his enthusiasm in showing NARIT its infrastructures and facilities NAOC has to offer on site.


Xinglong Observatory is one of the primary observatories administered by NAOC. As the largest observatory in the continent of Asia, it contains nine telescopes whose effective apertures are larger than 50 cm. The largest of them all is the 2.16-m telescope which is the first 2-metre class astronomical telescope designed and built by astronomers and engineers in China. Its main instruments include a high resolution fibre-fed spectrograph, the Beijing Faint Object Spectroscopy and Camera (BFOSC) and the OMR Cassegrain focus Spectrograph.



Xinglong Observatory also houses the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fibre Spectroscopic Telescope or LAMOST. It is a special active reflecting Schmidt telescope which adopts an innovative active optics technique that changes the mirror surface continuously to achieve a series of different reflecting Schmidt systems at different times. It breaks through the bottleneck that has hampered large-scale spectroscopic survey observations in the past by combining a large aperture (a clear aperture up to 4.9 metres in diameter) with a wide field of view (5 degrees). LAMOST possesses 16 spectrographs with 32 CCD cameras, making it the telescope with the highest spectral acquisition rate in the world.



The NARIT Executive Director also displayed an interest in joint research work with Xinglong Observatory and LAMOST project as the facilities are prime for Thai researchers in the long run. A talk for promoting Thai students to participate in Universities of Chinese Academy of Sciences or UCAS was also mentioned as, currently, the number of Thai students under UCAS in astronomy is still relatively small compared to other disciplines.

Stay tuned for more news on the expedition of NARIT to NAOC from March 8-12, 2017