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Local telescope broadcasts to the world

SHANGHAI will contribute to a 24-hour live Webcast today called "Around the World in 80 Telescopes," in which viewers can watch video footage taken by 80 different astronomical observatories.

The international event kicked off at 5pm yesterday at the Mauna Kea peak in Hawaii, one of the best places in the world to gaze into the heavens thanks to its altitude and clean air.

As the Earth turned on its axis, the Webcast traveled around the globe and beyond for whistle-stop tours of international observatories including the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile, the space-based Hubble Space Telescope and the South Pole Telescope in Antarctica.

The series of 20-minute Web-casts include astronomical images and information about telescopes and space research, and offer a behind-the-scenes perspective with live interview with astronomers from each observatory. Netizens can log on at

The Shanghai Astronomical Observatory in Sheshan Hill will join the relay from 9:40am today.

After broadcasting a five-minute introduction video, the Shanghai observatory will demonstrate its 25-meter Sheshan radio telescope. It is the only telescope on China's mainland to take part in the project.

Shen Zhiqiang, a scientist with the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, will give details about some of the international projects the Sheshan telescope participates in, and explain how China's Very Long Baseline Interferometry system tracked the Chang'e-1 orbiter in 2007.

Around the World in 80 Telescopes is part of the International Year of Astronomy's 100 Hours of Astronomy project, which began on Thursday and ends tomorrow.


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