China’s construction of an astronomical observatory is close to completion at the highest point on the Antarctic plateau as the 33rd Chinese expedition to the frozen continent starts. The missions to the South Pole hope to know the origin of dark matter and extraterrestrial life.
Aboard the research icebreaker Xuelong (Snow Dragon) are four astronomers who have planned about 100 projects for the next nearly six months of travel. They have 20 days to work at Kunlun base, according to one of the scientists.
Since 2007, China has sent astronomers every year to the region to build an observatory on Dome Argus, nearly 750 miles or 1,200 km from the nearest coast and around 4,093 meters or over 13,400 feet above sea level as the highest point.
The Kunlun station was built in 2007, located 7.3 km from Dome Argus, where it has been preparing since for its observation center.
With an automated astronomical observation platform at Dome Argus, the country is now planning to build a high-elevation Antarctic terahertz telescope.