China Is Building the World’s Largest Telescope Array to Study Explosions on the Sun

By: | August 28th, 2022

Aerial view of the parabolic antennas (Image credit: Liu Zhongjun/China News Service via Getty Images)

China is developing the world’s largest radio telescope array that will be aimed at the Sun. Named Daocheng Solar Radio Telescope (DSRT); the circular array is being built with the plan to better understand CMEs. 

CMEs or coronal mass ejections are the huge eruptions of charged particles from the sun’s upper atmosphere, the corona. These massive solar eruptions can cause chaos on and above Earth. These eruptions could result in knocking out the world’s internet and disrupting global satellite services.

Daocheng Solar Radio Telescope (DSRT)

At present, DSRT is being constructed on the Tibetan Plateau. If all goes as expected, it will complete by the end of 2022. Once complete, the array will consist of 313 dishes each with a diameter of 19.7 feet (6 meters). Moreover, this huge telescope array will have a circumference of 1.95 miles (3.14 kilometers). In its center, there will be a 100-meter-long tower.

The project also consists of the construction of a separate array, the Chinese Spectral Radioheliograph in Inner Mongolia. This is also designed to monitor solar activity as part of China’s Meridian (Phase II) space surveillance program. This project will comprise 100 dishes in a three-arm spiral arrangement. It will help in studying solar activity in a wider band of frequencies than the DSRT.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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