Homelands Apart, Hands Held.

In early February of 2020, the novel coronavirus that began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan had spread across the country and beyond. The entire nation was mobilized to fight again the virus. National Astronomical Observatories of CAS (NAOC) has joined with the Chinese people in the fight. We are not alone during this hard time and are warmed by the concerns and supports from our international counterparts.


Pic.1: Prof. Saku Tsuneta, Director-General of National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), wrote a message to NAOC in mid-February to express his support for China’s fight against the virus and appreciation for the Chinese government’s effort to bring the virus under control. Touched by this and the Japanese as well who donated medical supplies to Wuhan accompanied by a classic poem from the Tang Dynasty, Mr. Song Feijun, a retired CAS researcher and grandson of the famous painter Fong Zikai, offered, in return, his calligraphy (left panel) and a painting (right panel) in the style of his grandfather to express gratitude and goodwill to promote Sino-Japanese joint endeavors. Prof Tsuneta accepted this gift with gratitude and decorated his office with it. (Credit: NAOC)


Pic.2: Prof. Wiphu Rujopakarn from Chulalongkorn University of Thailand, who is also an Advisor to the Executive Director of National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT), is a brilliant researcher and active advocate of Sino-Thai cooperation. Unable to visit Beijing for the Sino-Thai meetings with both MOST and CAS this past mid-February, he was sympathetic and sent his support (left panel) together with his colleague (right panel) in a message that reads “Stay Strong China.” (Credit: NAOC)


Pic.3: Prof. Rainer Spurzem is a German expert directs a research group in stellar dynamics at NAOC, also known as the Silk Road Project. His team members consist of young researchers and visiting fellows from around the world. Unable to come back to China during this difficult time, he invited some team members to join him in an academic visit to the Copernicus Institute in Poland. Together with Prof. Mirek Giersz, his Polish collaborator, they displayed a quote saying “Stay Strong China” to support China in its fight against the virus (right panel). In addition, the left panel reminds us of a lively Christmas Party at NAOC hosted by Prof. Spurzem’s research group last December. (Credit: NAOC)