In collaboration with the
International Astronomical Union


Category of Astronomical Heritage: tangible immovable
Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing, China

Format: IAU - Outstanding Astronomical Heritage Description

Description

Geographical position 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 163
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 3
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-03-09 20:15:47
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Purple Mountain Observatory (PMO), No.10 Yuanhua Road, Qixia District, Jiangsu, Nanjing 210023, China

 

Location 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 163
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-03-09 20:15:23
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Latitude 32°4’0,9’’N, Longitude 118°49’29,9’’O, Elevation 267m above mean sea level.

 

IAU observatory code 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 163
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 1
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-03-09 17:29:12
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

330

 

Description of (scientific/cultural/natural) heritage 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 163
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 3
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-04-02 23:10:25
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Purple Mountain Observatory (PMO) Nanjing, China (

Fig. 1. Purple Mountain Observatory (PMO) Nanjing, China (Wikipedia)




The Institute of Astronomy, Academia Sinica, was founded in Nanjing in 1928. The main task of the institute in early times was to establish the Purple Mountain Observatory (PMO). In 1934, PMO was put into the operation.

View from Main building to the West (1950s): left

Fig. 2. View from Main building to the West (1950s): left dome (1925), right Tower (1931) (Wikipedia)




In 1950, the Institute of Astronomy was changed the name as Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences. 1937 to 1946, due to Japanese invasion, the PMO moved to Kunming.

 

History 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 163
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 6
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-04-18 15:48:19
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Directors

  • Lu GAO (1877-1947), 1928 to 1929
  • Qingsong YU (1897-1978), 1929 to 1941
  • Yuzhe ZHANG (Y.C. Chang) (1902-1986), 1941 to 1984
  • Fu TONG (1936-2013), 1986 to 1991
  • Heqi ZHANG (*1935), 1991 to 1996
  • Benkui LU (*1941), 1996 to 2000
  • Jun YAN (*1958), 2000 to 2007
  • Ji YANG (*1961), 2011 to 2019
  • Jin CHANG (*1966), 2019 to 2020
  • Changyin ZHAO (*1966), 2020 to


Lu GAO (1877--1947)
born in Changle, Fujian Province. He studied engineering in Belgium and gained his Ph.D. degree in 1905. He served as the director of the Astronomical Institute of the former Academia Sinica (the predecessor of Purple Mountain Observatory, February, 1928 -- July, 1929). He was engaged in modern astronomy.

Qingsong YU (1897--1978)
born in Xiamen, Fujian Province. In 1918, he began his study of architecture in USA, taking up astronomy later, and received his Ph.D. degree in the University of California in 1926. He succeeded Gao Lu as the director of Astronomical Institute of the former Academia Sinica, and was deputed to the establishment of the Purple Mountain Observatory from 1929 to 1941. He was engaged in the stellar physics.

Yuzhe C. ZHANG (Y.C. Chang) (1902--1986)
born in Minhou, Fujian Province. He was educated in Chicago University from 1923, got his doctorate there in 1929, and returned to China in the same year. From 1941 to 1984, he served as the director of the Purple Mountain Observatory (emeritus director from 1984 to 1986). He was engaged in the observation of the asteroids and orbital determination.

Fu TONG (1936--2013)
born in Yixing, Jiangsu Province. He served as the vice-director of Purple Mountain Observatory from 1984 to 1986 and the director from 1986 to 1991. He graduated in 1957 from the Department of Mathematics and Mechanics of Peking University. He was engaged in celestial mechanics.



Armillary Sphere (Ming Dynasty 1437) (PMO)

Fig. 3a. Armillary Sphere (Ming Dynasty 1437) (PMO)

Celestial Globe (Qing, replica 1903) (PMO)

Fig. 3a,b. Celestial Globe (Qing, replica 1903) (PMO)


 

Historical instruments

 


  • Theodolite Horizon (Qing, replica),     
  • Celestial Globe (Qing, replica 1903),  
  • Armillary Sphere (Ming Dynasty 1437), 1900--1920 in Potsdam, Germany
  • Abridged Armillary Sphere (Ming Dynasty 1437), 1900--1905 in Potsdam, Germany
  • Gnomon


60-cm-Reflector, Carl Zeiss of Jena (1937) (Wikipe60-cm-Reflector, Carl Zeiss of Jena (1937) (Wikipe

Fig. 4. 60-cm-Reflector, Carl Zeiss of Jena (1937) (Wikipedia, Bundesarchiv Bild 137-048848)


 

Instruments

  • 60-cm-Reflector, Carl Zeiss of Jena (1928--1937) -
    the largest telescope in Far East area

 

 

State of preservation 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 163
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-03-09 20:20:20
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Some restoration necessary.

 

Comparison with related/similar sites 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 163
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-03-09 20:23:27
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

Very interesting is this 60-cm-Reflecting Telescope made by Zeiss in 1937;
it is in original condition in all details (knowing the Hamburg 1m reflector made by Zeiss in 1911),
but some restoration is really necessary.

 

Threats or potential threats 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 163
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 1
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-03-09 17:29:12
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

no information available

 

Present use 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 163
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-03-09 20:24:04
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

8 research divisions in the 1970s, especially millimeter-wave astronomy, space astronomy, and applied celestial mechanics.

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.
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).

Since 2016, PMO and University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) started a joint operation of the School of Astronomy and Space Science.

 

Astronomical relevance today 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 163
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 9
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-04-18 16:11:57
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

PMO is the first Chinese own modern astronomical research institution in China. In 1960, PMO took over two French Church observatories Xujiahui and Sheshan. PMO has been famed as "the cradle of modern astronomy in China."

In the Minor Planet Center Nanking 149 minor planets were discovered between 1955 and 1983, while the observatory’s PMO NEO Survey Program is credited with more than 600 discoveries between 2006 and 2013 -- in addition the periodic comets 60P/Tsuchinshan and 62P/Tsuchinshan, as well as the non-periodic C/1977 V1 (Tsuchinshan), also known as Comet 1977 X, and C/2017 E2 and among the  asteroids are: the Trojan asteroids 2223 Sarpedon, 2260 Neoptolemus, 2363 Cebriones, 2456 Palamedes, and the eponymous 3494 Purple Mountain. Also important is the search for (dangerous) Near-Earth objects (NEO)

Eight observing stations of PMO

(http://english.pmo.cas.cn/resources/facilities/)
The last two, Qingdao and Lamost, are separately discussed.

Xuyi Station, 104/120-cm-Schmidt Telescope (2009)

Fig. 5. Xuyi Station, 104/120-cm-Schmidt Telescope (2009) (PMO)



 


  • Delingha,
  • Ganyu (province Jiangsu, Solar Observatory, 1985/90),
  • Xuyi (104/120-cm-Schmidt Telescope, 2006/09),
  • Honghe,
  • Yaoan,
  • Antarctic Dome A

 

Qingdao / Tsingtau Observatory

Qingdao (German Meteorological-Astronomical Station Kiautschou in Guantao-Street, 1898, Observatory Mountain (79m) 1905/12,  building erected by Johann Heinrich Friedrich Schubart (1878--1955).

Qingdao Imperial Astronomical, Seismographic and G

Fig. 6a. Qingdao Imperial Astronomical, Seismographic and Geomagnetic Observatory (1898) (Wikipedia, Qingdao)


Qingdao Imperial Astronomical, Seismographic and G

Fig. 6b. Qingdao Imperial Astronomical, Seismographic and Geomagnetic Observatory (1898), Double refractor (1930) (Wikipedia, Qingdao)



Bruno Meyermann (1876--1963) of Göttingen became director (1909): astronomical,  geophysical observations, seismographic and geomagnetic measurements, meteorology. In 1911, it was called Imperial  Observatory Tsingtau.In 1914, it was renamed Japanese Imperial Meteorological Observatory.



In 1924, the observatory came under the administartion of the Chinese governement -- first time service -- Central Meteorological Observatory.

The first director was Jiang Bingran (1883--1966).
Instruments:


  • 16-cm-Refractor for sunspot observations,
  • "Carte du Ciel"-Double refractor, Georges Prin, France (1928/30),
    (32cm photogr., 20cm vis., f=358cm)
  • 14-m-tower with 7.8m dome (1932).


1951 Meteorological Observatory of the Navy, Astronomical, Seismographic and Geomagnetic Observatory Qingdao, department of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and of PMO (http://www.qdgxt.cn/) -- Latitude:120°19’, Longitude 36°04’, Altitude: 75m



 

Xinglong Station, Lamost Observatory

Xinglong Station near Chengde

60/90-cm-Schmidt-Telescope, LAMOST-Telescope, 1995/2007


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 wide-field Near Earth Objects Survey Telescope, a CAS observation network for space object and debris, a solar telescope, and so on.  
 

LAMOST-Telescope (1995/2007), Xinglong Station (Ph

Fig. 7a. LAMOST-Telescope (1995/2007), Xinglong Station (Photo: G. Wolfschmidt)


LAMOST-Telescope (1995/2007), Xinglong Station (Ph

Fig. 7b. LAMOST-Telescope (1995/2007), Xinglong Station (Photo: G. Wolfschmidt)



 

Other Chinese observatories -- Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC)

  • 1962 Beijing Astronomical Observatory
  • 1962 Shanghai Astronomical Observatory
  • 1972 Yunnan Astronomical Observatory, Kunming
  • Observatory Miyun
  • Solar Observatory Huairou
  • Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory, Urumuqi
  • Radio Observatory Guizhou
  • Xinglong Station near Chengde (60/90-cm-Schmidt-Telescope, LAMOST-Telescope, 1995/2007)
  • Changchun Artificial Satellite Observatory, Changchun

 

 

References

Bibliography (books and published articles) 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 163
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 1
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-03-09 17:29:12
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt

no information available

 

Links to external sites 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 163
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 2
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2021-03-09 20:25:31
    Author(s): Gudrun Wolfschmidt


  • Homepage: http://english.pmo.cas.cn/, http://english.pmo.cas.cn/au/
  • History: http://english.pmo.cas.cn/about/history/
  • Directors: http://english.pmo.cas.cn/about/FormerDirectors/
  • Discoveries: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_Mountain_Observatory

 

  • PrintPrint contents of 'Description' tab
    (opens in a new window)
  • Theme

    Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century

    Case Study Navigation