Data from China’s finest telescope released worldwide

Data from China’s finest telescope released worldwide



BEIJING- China on Thursday made observation data from the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) available to scientists worldwide.

LAMOST, China’s leading optical telescope project, was completed in 2008 to collect high quality spectra, key to astronomers reading celestial bodies’ chemical composition, density, atmosphere and magnetism.

The DR1 data set from the first year of operations contains more than 2.2 million spectra from stellars, galaxies, quasi-stellar objects (QSO) and unknown types.

In accordance with international practice, the same data set was first released to Chinese astronomers and the project’s international partners in August 2013, helping the discovery of many new QSOs, white dwarfs and other celestial bodies.

The DR2 set is currently available to Chinese astronomers and international partners, containing 4.13 million spectra from the second year of observations.

LAMOST is located at the Xinglong Observing Station — about 170 km (105.6 miles) northeast of Beijing, and run by the National Astronomical Observations of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC).

“LAMOST observations between 2012 and 2017 are expected to collect more than five million high-quality spectra in total. These spectra data will be the cornerstone for digitizing the universe and provide significant help for studying the structure, movements, formation and development of the universe,” said Zhao Gang, a senior NAOC official.

DR1 data set is available at for download.

Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope

LAMOST survey contains two main parts: the LAMOST ExtraGAlactic Survey (LEGAS), and the LAMOST Experiment for Galactic Understanding and Exploration (LEGUE) survey of Milky Way stellar structure. The unique design of LAMOST enables it to take 4000 spectra in a single exposure to a limiting magnitude as faint as r=19 at the resolution R=1800, which is equivalent to the design aim of r=20 for the resolution R=500. This telescope therefore has great potential to efficiently survey a large volume of space for stars and galaxies.

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