Message from the Director
National Astronomical Observatories of Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) was founded in April 2001 through the merger of four observatories, three observing stations and one research center, all of which are public institutions associated with Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). NAOC is headquartered in Beijing and there are four subordinate institutes distributed across the country including: Yunnan Observatories, Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology (NIAOT), Urumqi Observatory (which is now called Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory or XAO) and Changchun Observatory.
NAOC hosts the Center for Astronomical Mega-Science of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAMS), which is a new initiative to establish a mechanism for reaching consensus in the construction of major facilities, operations and technology developments among CAS core observatories, including NAOC, Purple Mountain Observatory (PMO) and Shanghai Astronomical Observatory (SHAO). CAMS strives for sharing finances, human resources and technical expertise among these three core observatories that are part of CAS.
Catering to the national strategic demand and frontier science and technology, and in accordance with CAS Innovation 2020, NAOC focuses its major research on cosmological large scale structure, formation and evolution of galaxies, high energy astrophysics, formation and evolution of stars, solar magnetism and activity, lunar and deep space exploration, and astronomical instrumentation. Seven major research departments have been formed based on these fields, including Optical Astronomy, Radio Astronomy, Galaxies and Cosmology, Space Science, Solar Physics, Lunar and Deep Space Exploration, and Applications in Astronomy.
Currently, NAOC has constructed and is operating a wide variety of facilities at the national level, including the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) and the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST). Its Lunar Exploration Program Ground Application System is one of the five systems associated with China’s Lunar Exploration Program. It is responsible for designing and running the Chinese Science Center of SVOM GRB Mission. Site survey in the high plateau of Tibet has been carried out by NAOC in order to identify appropriate sites for constructing large and medium-sized telescopes such as the 12 meter optical telescope.
NAOC actively collaborates with scientists around the world. NAOC is participating in efforts related to constructing the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). NAOC is also a member of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) international project together with 10 other countries. CAS South America Center for Astronomy, also known as the China-Chile Joint Research Center for Astronomy, was set up in 2013 in Santiago, Chile.
NAOC is also a member of the East Asian Core Observatories Association (EACOA) and the East Asian Observatory.
With the rapid development of NAOC, we welcome talented researchers from both at home and abroad to join us. Together, we aim to build NAOC into a world class observatory.