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LAMOST survey has obtained 1.5 million spectra
Update time: 2013-03-20
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   LAMOST formal survey has begun since last September, and has already obtained about 1.5 million spectra. Prof. Xiangqun Cui, chairman of the Chinese astronomical society and the Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, joining in the NPC & CPPCC in Beijing, tells the latest progress of the Large Area Multi-Object Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST), which is one of the national major scientific projects, to the Science and technology daily reporter.

   LAMOST built in 2008 and installed in the Xinglong Observatory, National Astronomical Observatories, with the Chinese investment of 300 million Yuan, is the largest aperture and the highest observation rate telescope with wide field of view. Its complete construction has made Chinese astronomy in large-scale optical spectral observation and large field of view astronomy reach towards the international leading position.

   Prof. Cui is the general engineer of the Operation and Development Center of LAMOST. She introduced that after national accept in 2009, LAMSOT started to do all kinds of alignments and began the tentative pilot survey in 2011. It is like to do general census for celestial objects with telescope. In 2012 0.48 million spectra were formally released, and till now 1.5million spectra are obtained after formal survey begun in September, 2012.

   We are producing spectra. Prof. Cui tried to help LAMOST well understood. Spectrum can be used into many researches, such as chemical composition of the Milky Way galaxy, dark matter, and extra-solar planet. High levels telescopes bring very good foundation for these researches.

   Prof. Cui also mentioned that now weather conditions had influenced the observation of LAMOST. Global warming leads to more rain, large temperature fluctuations and further influence from airflow and finally imaging performance. The sand storm in March, April and May also allow no observations. Because of bad weather, observations can not be carried out on almost half of the days. What’s more, the urban light pollution affects observations.

   Prof. Cui said that many European and American countries are now trying to construct extremely large telescopes on South America. She advised that China will also build astronomical telescopes at places with better observation conditions.

Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics & Technology ,National Astronomical Observatories ,CAS