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|Thursday, April 12, 2001, updated at 13:19(GMT+8)|
China to Build Its Largest Astronomy Field Measurement BaseA ground breaking ceremony for an astronomy field measurement and research base was held Tuesday at Gaomeigu in Lijiang in southwest China's Yunnan Province.
The 56.26 million yuan (US$6.778 million) project, the largest of its kind in China, will be completed in three to four years. A huge optical telescope, the biggest in China and probably the largest in southeast Asia, will be installed at the observatory, sources said.
"Gaomeigu" means "a place higher than the sky" in Naxi language, an ancient language in the area.
Gaomeigu, with an elevation of 3,193 meters, has 254 clear nights annually.
Experts said that Gaomeigu is a perfect place for astronomical observation, and can compare with those in the US state of Hawaii and on the Canary Islands in north Africa.
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