Stargazing at Chilean observatory fascinates Chinese astronomer

Stargazing at Chilean observatory fascinates Chinese astronomer
Due to the crystal clear night skies over Paranal Mountain in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert, it was chosen as the site to place the world’s finest optical telescopes.
This is where the European Southern Observatory (ESO), founded in 1963 by 14 European nations, set up its Very Large Telescope (VLT) for astronomical observation.
Chinese astronomer Yang Bin was fortunate enough to conduct astronomic research as the only Chinese female scientist here.
(Soundbite) Yang Bin, Chinese Astronomer
“I feel that I can bring new techniques I learned, and introduce the most popular and promising projects into China to promote the cooperation between China and the world.”
Before joining the ESO, Yang worked for three years at China’s National Astronomical Observatory. But the excellent geological location and outstanding telescopes at Paranal finally lured her away.
During her stay here, Yang witnessed the quick process that China narrowed its gap on astronomical observation with the forerunners in the world.
(Soundbite) Yang Bin, Chinese Astronomer
“When I worked in China, we didn’t have much equipment, and there were not many opportunities to work with partners from abroad. But at present, Chinese scientists are collaborating significantly with foreign experts and China is also working on developing its own equipment. The gap is narrowing and right now the gap is mainly due to the confinement of the equipment.”
Northern Chile’s desert region is one of the best places on earth for astronomical observation.
The dry and clear weather makes it for ideal sky-watching, and there is no light pollution because it’s far away from any cities.
By 2020, Chile is expected to host around 70 percent of all ground-based astronomical observation facilities.

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