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Space observatory set up on Dome Argus
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China's automatic space observatory at Dome Argus, the highest point of the Antarctic ice sheet, has been successfully completed.

The observatory was set up by China's 24th science inspection team on the South Pole at Dome Argus, the Antarctic icecap peak at 4,093 meters above sea level. It has undergone more than one month of tests and examinations and now transfers back nearly 10M of astronomic data every day.

"Only when we can get data stably from the observatory, can we take the load off our minds, and see that our efforts at the Antarctic icecap have been successfully completed," said by Zhu Zhenxi, one of the astronomers in the inspection team.

Setting up this observatory is an international project led by China's astronomers in cooperation with astronomers from Australia, the U.S. and Britain. It is a milestone in the development of astronomy in China, said experts in the inspection team.

The past 10 years of scientific research showed that Dome Argus, due to its special geographic site, had great potential to become one of the best places on the earth to set up an observatory.

The observatory will for the first time in the world map the parameters of Dome Argus helping to enable the building of larger observatories at a later date.

(Xinhua News Agency, March 20, 2008)

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