The 5th Maidanak Users Meeting (MUM) was held at Xinglong Observatory from April 16 - 19, 2018. The meeting was jointly organized by National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) and Ulugh Beg Astronomical Institute of the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences (UBAI). More than 50 participants from 18 institutes and universities of 7 countries attended the meeting.
Prof. Suijian Xue, Deputy Director General of NAOC, gave a welcome address. Prof. Suijian Xue and Academician Shuhrat Ehgamberdiev (UBAI) introduced the current status of NAOC and Maidanak Astronomical Observatory (MAO) respectively. China-Uzbekistan collaboration team further gave presentations on the infrastructure, the strategy of telescopes time allocation, the upgrading of the 1m Zeiss telescope and the future development plans of MAO. The researchers from NAOC introduced the observatories, sciences and the on-going site-testing for large optical telescopes in China. The international participants reported their researches based on the data obtained from MAO, Xinglong telescopes, and so on. At the end of the meeting, during the session led by Academician Shuhrat Ehgamberdiev, all the participants joined the discussion on the current MAO observational time allocation policy and further international collaboration with researchers from Uzbekistan，Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Korea, Japan and China.
Special session was dedicated to discussions on the installation of a 4-m telescope at Maidanak observatory. This idea was suggested by Organization of Islamic cooperation and actively supported by the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyaev. Turkish experts from Isik and Ataturk universities made presentation via Skype and answered to the questions of participants. Prof. Kaz Sekiguchi from Japan informed participants about large telescope projects in Japan.
The participants toured the Xinglong Observatory during the meeting, discussed with local staff on the construction and operation of telescopes as well as on the scientific researches. A Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific and Instrumental Collaborations between UBAI and NAOC was signed by representatives from each side on March 21, 2014, which marks a step forward in the field of Sino-Uzbek astronomy, in particular, in optical/near infrared astronomy and subsequent instrument upgrades, time-domain astronomy, history of astronomy, personnel training, and information exchange. In recent years, NAOC has undertaken the upgrade of the MAO 1-m telescope, and completed it successfully. Now the telescope will start to collect scientific data recently. All these activities have been strengthening the communication and collaboration on astronomy among China and participating countries, especially the Belt and Road countries.
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