Purple Mountain Observatory

The observatory at the purple mountain (Chinese紫金山 天文台, Pinyin Zijinshan Tiānwéntái ) is an observatory near the city of Nanjing in the People's Republic of China. The observatory is located in the eastern outskirts of the city on a hill in the west of the purple mountains at an altitude of 267 m above sea level.

Construction of the observatory began in 1929. Five years later, in 1934, the observation operation started. Today it is a modern astronomical observatory, which is under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

At the observatory at the purple mountain three comets were discovered, including the periodic 60P/Tsuchinshan. Among the discoveries are beyond 147 asteroids, including the Trojans ( 2223 ) Sarpedon, ( 2363 ) and Cebriones ( 2456 ) Palamedes, and furthermore also named after the observatory ( 3494 ) Purple Mountain.

The observatory is on the monument list the People's Republic of China since 1996.

Historical astronomical instruments

On the site of original historical astronomical instruments are to be visited, such as eg an armillary sphere. With this instrument, which was built in 1437, one could determine the equatorial ecliptic and the horizontal coordinates of celestial bodies. The rings are divided into scales of 365.25 and 100 This type of scale systems characterizes the properties of Astronomy in Ancient China. German troops brought these armillary sphere in 1900 to Berlin, as the United States eight ( Boxer Rebellion ) marched into Beijing. The instrument was returned to China in 1920.

Another historical unit is the simplified armillary sphere. With the instrument on the basis of both equatorial armillarsphere and horizontal coordinates of the heavenly bodies without mutual interference could be measured. This instrument was made ​​in 1437 from an idea by Guo Shou- jing ( 1231-1316 ). Also as spoils of war, this instrument was brought to France in 1900, it came back to China in 1905.

Simplified armillary Sphere