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Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences

The Purple Mountain Observatory (PMO) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences evolves from the former Institute of Astronomy of the Academia Sinica, which was established in 1928. In 1934, the institute completed the construction of the observatory at Purple Mountain in Nanjing. In 1950, the Institute was renamed as the current. PMO is known as “The Cradle of Modern Astronomy in China” not only because it was the first China’s own modern astronomical institute, but also because it was the originator of most sub-disciplines of Chinese astronomy and the sponsor of subsequent CAS astronomical institutions.

PMO focus on high-energy astrophysics, solar physics and space astronomical exploration technology; research on star formation through the universe and corresponding terahertz technology; artificial satellite orbital dynamics and probing methods; planetary science, ephemeral astronomy and deep space exploration; observational cosmology and galaxy formation.

PMO aims, in near future, to use Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) in-orbit to solve major scientific problems related to dark matter particles as well as the origin, propagation and acceleration mechanism of cosmic ray; develop payloads and scientific application system for the Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S) mission; develop technology related to Antarctic astronomy in order to construct “big science” facilities in Dome A; and improve continuously the system for observing objects and debris in space in order to support the nation’s aerospace programs.

PMO’s research is grouped into four divisions: Dark Matter and Space Astronomy, Antarctic Astronomy and Radio Astronomy, Applied Celestial Mechanics and Space Object & Debris, and Planetary Sciences and Deep Space Exploration. Each division consists of research groups, observing stations, and laboratories. PMO runs four CAS Key laboratories (Radio Astronomy, Space Object and Debris Observation, Dark Matter and Space Astronomy, Planetary Sciences, respectively) and two CAS research centers (Space Object and Debris Observation and Research, Antarctic Astronomy). PMO has established eight observing stations in Delingha, Ganyu, Xuyi, Honghe, Yaoan, Qingdao, and Antarctic Dome A, respectively. PMO is in charge of the in-orbit operation of DAMPE, and manages several major modern facilities, including a 13.7m millimeter-wave telescope, a 1m wild-field Near Earth Objects Survey Telescope, a CAS observation network for space object and debris, a solar telescope, and so on. 

As of the end of 2020, PMO had 341 regular employees. Among them are three CAS members, 60 research professors and 79 associate research professors. PMO has 132 doctoral students, 128 master’s students and 23 postdoctoral researchers. Since 2016, PMO and University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) started a joint operation of the School of Astronomy and Space Science.

Fig. 1 The PMO and its stations. From left to right and top to bottom: Ganyu station, a bird view of PMO, Honghe station, Qingdao station, Xianlin campus, Qinghai station, Xuyi station, Yaoan station, Antarctic Dome A station. 

Fig. 2 LOGO of PMO   

Address:  Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences,
                10 Yuanhua Road, Qixia DistrictNanjing 210023,  People's Republic of China
Phone:     +86-25-83332000
Fax:         +86-25-83332091