China’s “Hubble” –The Dark-Universe Telescope in Antarctica






Chinese astronomers have renewed their ambitious attempt to build two powerful telescopes at Dome A, the highest place in Antarctica. Professor Cui, Deputy Director of the Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy, said the two major telescopes would greatly assist the research of black holes and dark energy, as well as the origins of life and the universe, reported Xinhua News Agency.

Both Kunlun Dark Universe Telescope (KDUST), a 2.5-meter survey telescope, and Dome A Terahertz Explorer-5 (DATE5) were originally included in China’s 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015) but funding has been difficult to secure. “The completion of KDUST would make up for China’s lack of a Hubble telescope […] By observing distant objects in infrared wavelengths, we could expect to achieve a breakthrough in the field of dark energy research,” added Professor Cui, an academic with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a National Party Congress deputy.

According to Nature, the 5-meter DATE5 would offer a view inside the dark clouds of dust and molecules where astronomers believe stars are forming,

Using optical and near-infrared light to detect planets similar to Earth outside the solar system, KDUST could also find clues related to the mystery of dark matter and dark energy, as well as how the first stars were formed.

Located at 4,093m above sea level, Antarctica’s Dome A, also known as Dome Argus, ice cap offers unparalleled conditions for stargazing because of its altitude and clean, bone-dry air, as well as reduced background noises for infrared observations.



Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope took advantage of a giant cosmic magnifying glass to create one of the sharpest and most detailed maps of dark matter in the universe shown at the top of the page. Dark matter is an invisible and unknown substance that makes up the bulk of the universe’s mass.

The astronomers used Hubble to chart the invisible matter in the massive galaxy cluster Abell 1689, located 2.2 billion light-years away. The cluster’s gravity, the majority of which comes from dark matter, acts like a cosmic magnifying glass, bending and amplifying the light from distant galaxies behind it. This effect, called gravitational lensing, produces multiple, warped, and greatly magnified images of those galaxies, like the view in a funhouse mirror. By studying the distorted images, astronomers estimated the amount of dark matter within the cluster.

The Daily Galaxy via GB Times and 


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