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Purple Mountain Observatory, Nanjing

#4 of 23 in Museums in Nanjing
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Purple Mountain Observatory, also known as Zijinshan Astronomical Observatory is an astronomical observatory located on the Purple Mountain in Nanjing, China. The longtime director of the observatory from 1950 to 1984 was Chinese astronomer Zhang Yuzhe (张钰哲, 1902–1986, also known as Y. C. Chang).
By the late 1980s, increasing light pollution in Nanjing meant Purple Mountain was no longer viable as a working observatory. It has since shifted its focus to public education, with much of the actual scientific work being carried out in its five branch observatories located at Qinghai (in Delingha), Ganyu, Xuyi, Honghe (in Jiamusi), and Qingdao.
The Minor Planet Center credits the observatory, simply referred to as Nanking, with the discovery of 149 minor planets between 1955 and 1983, while the observatory's PMO NEO Survey Program is credited with a total of 532 discoveries between 2006 and 2013.
The observatory discovered the periodic comets 60P/Tsuchinshan and 62P/Tsuchinshan, as well as the non-periodic C/1977 V1 (Tsuchinshan), also known as Comet 1977 X. Many asteroids were also discovered, including the Trojan asteroids 2223 Sarpedon, 2260 Neoptolemus, 2363 Cebriones, 2456 Palamedes, and the eponymous 3494 Purple Mountain.
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40 reviews
  • Pity but when we visited this site the day was "foggy" and could see almost nothing from the top. However, with a nice day it would be a good visit.  more »
  • My friend drove us up the hill passed the old Nanjing wall to the observatory. The Carpark is not free anymore and observatory collects fees as well. We walked around the observatory in the hiking...  more »
  • Prices for up and down higher about 100 yuan per head.
  • Nice place. A bit difficult to find
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