17 October 2017
Chinese scientists on 16 October announced the observation of the "optical counterpart" of gravitational waves coming from the merger of two binary neutron stars using the Chinese survey telescope AST3-2 in Antarctica. The gravitational waves were first discovered by the U.S.-based Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors on 17 August. The Chinese telescope independently observed optical signals resulting from the merger the next day, according to the Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy. It was the first time humans have detected gravitational waves and the corresponding electromagnetic phenomena resulting from a binary neutron star merger.
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17 October 2017
"The satellite marks a transition in China's role -- from a follower in classic information technology (IT) development to one of the leaders guiding future IT achievements," said Pan Jianwei, lead scientist of QUESS and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). "Satellite-based quantum key distribution can be linked to metropolitan quantum networks where fibers are sufficient and convenient to connect numerous users within a city over 100 km. We can thus envision a space-ground integrated quantum network, enabling quantum cryptography- most likely the first commercial application of quantum information- useful at a global scale," Pan said.
The establishment of a reliable and efficient space-to-ground link for faithful quantum state transmission paves the way to global-scale quantum networks, he added.
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16 October 2017
One is rapid and strong, and the other is slow and weak, like the heartbeats of a youth and an old man passing through a distance of thousands of light years, and then heard by the most sensitive "ear" on Earth. The "ear" is the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), the world's largest radio telescope, with a dish as large as 30 football fields. It is located in a valley deep in southwest China's mountainous Guizhou Province.
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13 October 2017
The Central Military Commission held a ceremony to honor the military unit of astronauts on 13 October. An order signed by President Xi Jinping, also CMC Chairman, was read at the ceremony, and a certificate of honor was presented to the unit.
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15 October 2017
New criteria for astronaut selection in China could close the gap between ordinary people and space. As already announced beginning of June at the Global Space Exploration Conference GLEX2017, China will select a third batch of astronauts this year. It will give priority to engineering, with preference to flight engineers and load experts with Masters degrees or above. The standards for being an astronaut for the third batch is much lower than before in terms of both identity and physical condition, indicating that more ordinary people could have the opportunity to get selected.
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10 October 2017
The China-based FAST, the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, has identified two pulsars after one year of trial operation, the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC) said on 10 October 2017. Two of the pulsars, named J1859-01 and J1931-01, are 16,000 light years and 4,100 light years from Earth with rotation periods of 1.83 seconds and 0.59 seconds, respectively. According to Li Di, Chief Scientist at the radio astronomy division of the NAOC, the two pulsars were discovered on 22 August and 25 August when FAST was drift-scanning the southern galactic plane. The discovery was confirmed in September by the Parkes radio telescope in Australia.
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close-up photos of FAST's technical hardware