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The Purple Mountain Observatory
Beijing-Xi'an-Nanjing-Suzhou-Hangzhou-Shanghai

It is said that your wish will come true when you make a bow to god while the meteor is shooting across the sky. Whether it is superstition or not, it shows to some extent the importance of celestial phenomena in people's minds. Then, does this saying stir up curiosity about Chinese astronomy? The Purple Mountain Observatory may give you a satisfactory answer.

 

Purple Mountain Observatory is located in the Zhong Mountain (Purple Mountain) Scenic Area in the east suburb of Nanjing City. Seen from afar, the white domed buildings are shining brightly in the sun. Finished in 1934, it is the earliest and one of the most famous observatories in China. Of milestone significance, it symbolizes the threshold of Chinese modern astronomy.

 

Great achievements have been made in the observatory. Successively, more than 30 new variable stars and numbers of asteroids have been discovered, among which 100 asteroids have been numbered by the International Minor Planet Center. In addition, four comets were also discovered. The Ge Wang Comet was the first comet named with the surname of a Chinese discoverer. Besides which, the observatory contributed a lot in applications studies. It has successively established extensive links with other astronomical institutions at home and abroad.

 

The Nanjing Astronomy and History Museum is within the observatory itself. It's the first museum of its kind in China. The museum has three exhibition halls, displaying full and accurate data and pictures. Here you will feel the immensity of the universe and the smallness of human beings.

 

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