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China’s newest telescope will stare right at the Sun next year

Updated 3 weeks ago
Published Nov 15th, 2022 10:26PM EST
huge solar eruption from bright sun on dark background
Image: lukszczepanski/Adobe

Near the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, China is currently finishing up the final construction of the Daocheng Solar Radio Telescope, a brand-new Chinese solar telescope set to launch in 2024. The new telescope, which will consist of more than 300 dish-shaped antennas, cost 100 million yuan to build (around $14 million USD) and will study the Sun in great detail.

What makes this new Chinese solar telescope so intriguing – aside from its size – is that China will open new doors for how we study our solar system’s star. And, with so much information about the Sun still a mystery, it’s possible we could see data from the telescope causing some monumental breakthroughs in the scientific field.

The new telescope will join the likes of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, which previously touched the Sun, as well as the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter. The Parker Solar Probe was launched in 2018, and the ESA’s Solar Orbiter was launched in 2020. Together, these telescopes, as well as the new Chinese solar telescope, will give us unprecedented data about the Sun.

chinese solar telescope
The Daocheng Solar Radio Telescope is being constructed near the edge of the Tibetian Plateau. Image source: China News Service / Getty

This telescope is launching at an opportune time, as well, as our Sun will enter a highly active stage of its 11-year cycle within the next couple of years. As such, the Chinese solar telescope should provide a front-row seat to some of the most intense solar events that we’ve seen in recent years – including solar flares, coronal mass ejections, and even events on the surface of the Sun.

Additionally, with the Chinese solar telescope, as well as the Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter trained on the Sun, it should make it easier to predict how solar weather will approach Earth. This can help us better prepare for any issues, like dangerous solar flares and more. These flares can often wreak havoc on our technology and satellites, causing crashes, issues with GPS, and more.

Related coverage: This is when the Sun and the Earth will die, according to scientists.

Joshua Hawkins fell in love with writing and technology at a young age. Eventually he decided to combine the two and started writing about video games, the latest tech, and all the cool gadgets he could find. Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.