The Chinese government recently finished setting up the Daocheng Solar Radio Observatory (DSRT), and scientists will begin official work on it by June 2023, which will contribute to the development of space weather researchers' knowledge of this range.

The observatory is located on the edge of the Qinghai Plateau in Tibet, a completely remote area with an altitude of more than 3,800 meters above sea level. The height helps protect the observatory from atmospheric disturbances, thus ensuring clear skies as much as possible, which allows the observatory to pick up weak solar signals.

The observatory - which is the largest in the world - consists of 313 satellite dishes with a width of 6 meters each, making together a circle with a diameter of more than 3 kilometers, and the satellite dishes are designed to resemble a sunflower, as the sun follows hour by hour.

Basically, the observatory is interested in studying solar eruptions and how they affect the Earth, in the frequency range from 150 to 450 MHz, which achieves high-resolution imaging of solar events.

What are solar eruptions?

Solar flares are a natural phenomenon that occurs from time to time on the surface of the sun, caused by the nature of the sun's substance, as it consists of hot plasma at very high temperatures, and this plasma has a magnetic field that may become strong at times, making huge rings of plasma .

The solar explosion is like squeezing a spring with great force and then suddenly letting it go, because those huge rings of plasma lock inside them a great deal of energy, then suddenly release it into space, and it travels to Earth and other planets in the form of a strong solar wind.

Usually, the solar wind has no effect on the Earth, but in the case of strong solar eruptions, it may radically affect navigation systems and satellites, turning them off or stopping them from working forever, and the same may happen with terrestrial power plants.

And with the increasing frequency of space travel and the use of satellites for everything from communications to determining your location using programs such as Google Maps, studying the physics of the sun can achieve a better understanding of these phenomena for scientists, and perhaps prevent them completely in the future. .

It seems that we are already entering the golden age of solar physics, as the US Space and Aviation Agency (NASA) launched the Parker Solar Probe in 2018, and the European Space Agency launched its Solar Orbiter in 2020. They both study many solar phenomena.

China began working on its largest radio telescope in the world with a diameter of 500 meters, called "FAST", in 2016 (websites)

China takes off

The Daocheng Solar Radio Observatory is part of China's promising project called "Meridian" launched in 2008, consisting of a network of several ground stations aimed at observing space weather.

At the same time, China had intensified its efforts to study the physics of the sun during the past few years, as it launched the "Xihe" satellite in October 2021 to understand the characteristics of solar explosions, and in October of this year it launched The Kuafu-1 solar observatory, which aims to study the sun's magnetic field, along with several other solar phenomena.

And the matter does not stop at the limits of the sun, as this is not the first time that China has taken the lead with the largest telescope of its kind, as work began on its largest radio telescope in the world with a diameter of 500 meters, called "FAST" in 2016.

From above, "Fast" appears like a huge dish from the inside, and the telescope aims to study what is beyond the sun, as scientists use it to determine the properties of dark matter and the number of pulsars in the galaxy, of which nearly two thousand have been discovered so far, which represent - according to For theoretical calculations - only 3% of the total number of stars of this type.