On February 28, reporters learned from the China Polar Research Center that my country’s first near-infrared telescope was successfully operated at the Kunlun Station in Antarctica.

China's 40th Antarctic Scientific Expedition used the telescope to carry out near-infrared astronomical observations and full-time monitoring experiments on the near-Earth space environment.

  Researchers used the near-infrared astronomical telescope independently developed by my country to successfully measure key data such as the near-infrared skylight background brightness of the entire sky at Kunlun Station, providing a solid foundation for Kunlun Station to carry out year-round astronomical and space observations.

  After nearly two months of operation, it has been shown that the telescope meets the design requirements and meets harsh environmental indicators such as extremely cold temperatures and unattended operation.

Next, scientific researchers will remotely control the telescope to conduct cosmic and space observations at the unattended Kunlun Station in Antarctica.

  Build an astronomical observation array at the highest point in Antarctica

  Jiang Peng, a researcher at the China Polar Research Center, said that there are four internationally recognized Antarctic scientific high points: the Antarctic point, the Antarctic magnetic point, the Antarctic freezing point, and the highest point of the Antarctic ice sheet.

  The Chinese Antarctic Scientific Expedition Team has organized and carried out six inland scientific expeditions since 1996. In 2005, it finally achieved the first human ascent from the ground to Dome A, the highest point in the Antarctic. In 2009, it established the first Antarctic inland expedition in Dome A. Land Research Station - Kunlun Station.

  "The Dome A area not only has a thin and clean atmosphere with no light pollution, but also has six months of polar night every year. It is the best astronomical observatory site on earth," Jiang Peng said.

  "The near-infrared astronomical telescope put into use this time can withstand extremely cold temperatures of minus 80 degrees Celsius, and is not afraid of interference from 'ground snow' on the equipment." Research on new telescope technologies at the Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, which is responsible for equipment research and development Researcher Li Zhengyang, deputy director of the office, said.

  To ensure the stable operation of the telescope in the harsh Antarctic environment, they built a minus 80 degrees Celsius laboratory in Nanjing.

"Sometimes strong winds suddenly blow in the Antarctic region, raising 'ground blowing snow', causing the equipment to jam." Li Zhengyang said that the telescope applies the key technologies of independently developed low-temperature-resistant optical tubes and fully sealed direct drive motors, which significantly improves the performance of the telescope. The equipment's ability to adapt to extreme environments.

  my country's deployment of astronomical telescopes in the southern hemisphere will help carry out comprehensive and sustained observation activities.

In recent years, relying on the Kunlun Station, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the China Polar Research Center have cooperated to develop a number of astronomical observation equipment, including the Antarctic Survey Telescope (AST3-2) that participated in the global joint measurement of the optical counterpart of gravitational waves for the first time in human history. )wait.

  After the vernal equinox, Antarctica will enter the polar night. The unattended near-infrared telescope will coordinate with the Antarctic Survey Telescope AST3-2 through remote control to carry out time-domain astronomy observations to fill the near-infrared observation gap at Kunlun Station.

In the future, the terahertz telescope will also be stationed at Kunlun Station to further expand the Antarctic astronomical observation band.

  Explore the universe with the "Einstein Probe"

  "The light visible to our naked eyes is only a very small part of the electromagnetic waves radiated by celestial bodies. Infrared telescopes are one of the important means of astronomical observation." Jiang Peng said that infrared band observations allow scientists to explore the formation and evolution of the universe, galaxies, and stars, and understand the formation and evolution of the universe, galaxies, and stars. Dark matter and dark energy have played an important role in searching for signs of extraterrestrial life.

  Jiang Peng said that the earth's atmosphere also produces infrared radiation, which affects the observed celestial objects. The lower the temperature, the weaker the atmospheric infrared radiation. Therefore, the extremely cold weather in the Antarctic region can better suppress the infrared background noise in the sky.

  Li Zhengyang introduced that for a long time, my country has been relatively weak in the field of infrared astronomical telescopes. The wavelength of the near-infrared telescope put into operation this time is 1.1-1.4 microns, which is the band closest to visible light.

  According to the scientific research plan, during the unattended period, the near-infrared astronomical telescope will lock in several specific areas for continuous observation, and timely track and observe explosive objects in the universe.

  On January 9 this year, my country successfully sent the Einstein probe satellite into space.

The satellite's main scientific goals involve important predictions of Einstein's theory of relativity such as black holes and gravitational waves, so it is named "Einstein Probe."

  Jiang Peng told reporters that the explosion phenomenon in the universe is currently a hot topic in international astronomical research. An important task of the Einstein probe satellite is to detect the explosion phenomenon in the universe through the X-ray band.

"We will take advantage of the infrared band and the Antarctic region to cooperate with the Einstein probe satellite to observe explosions in the universe." Jiang Peng said.

  Our reporter Zhang Ye