XINING, April 13 (Xinhua) -- An asteroid has been named after China's Lenghu astronomical observation base located in northwest China's Qinghai Province, sources here said Wednesday.
The asteroid coded 592710 was discovered in 2011 by astronomers at the Xuyi Station of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' (CAS) Purple Mountain Observatory in east China's Jiangsu Province.
The asteroid, Lenghu, is a main-belt asteroid between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, said Zhao Haibin, an astronomer with the Purple Mountain Observatory.
Located on Saishiteng Mountain, Lenghu Town, the Lenghu astronomical observation base is on the northwestern edge of Qaidam Basin on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, with an average elevation of about 4,000 meters.
After three years of monitoring, researchers from the National Astronomical Observatories under the CAS found that the Saishiteng Mountain is an ideal location to build an astronomical observatory.
A total of nine optical astronomical telescope projects have been settled in the base, with an investment of nearly 2 billion yuan (about 314 million U.S. dollars), according to the Lenghu industrial park. ■