China to set up world’s highest altitude telescopes in Tibet
With an amount of $18.8 million, China is setting up the world’s highest altitude gravitational wave telescopes in a Tibet prefecture close to Line of Actual Control with India to detect faintest echoes resonating from universe which may reveal more about the Big Bang theory.
China has started the construction for the first telescope, code-named Ngari No 1, 30 km south of Shiquanhe Town in Ngari Prefecture.
Parts of Nagri is last Tibetan prefecture at China’s border with India. The telescope, located 5,250 meters above sea level, will detect and gather precise data on primordial gravitational waves in the Northern Hemisphere.
It is expected to be operational by 2021, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The second phase involves a series of telescopes, code-named Ngari No 2, to be located about 6,000 meters above sea level.
The budget for the two-phase Ngari gravitational wave observatory is an estimated 130 million yuan ($18.8 million).
The project was initiated by the Institute of High Energy Physics, National Astronomical Observatories, and Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology, among others.
Ngari, with its high altitude, clear sky and minimal human activity is said to be one of the world’s best spots to detect tiny twists in cosmic light.
The Ngari observatory will be among the world’s top primordial gravitational wave observation bases, alongside the South Pole Telescope and the facility in Chile’s Atacama Desert.
Gravitational waves were first proposed by Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity 100 years ago, but it wasn’t until 2016 that scientists with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory announced proof of the waves’ existence, spurring fresh research interest among the world’s scientists.