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Asteroid 79694 named after Chinese scientist

Author:gzstcj  From:CHINA DAILY Time:2018-10-23 Browse:  Size: Big Middle Small

The National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Pingtang county of Guizhou province have announced on Oct 15 the naming of asteroid 79694 after the Chinese scientist Nan Rendong.

Nan Rendong was the chief of China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, or FAST, the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescope. He passed away at the age of 72 in September 2017 from lung cancer.

The event celebrating the naming was jointly hosted by the CPC Central Propaganda Department, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Guizhou provincial publicity department.

Along with the naming ceremony came the unveiling of a statue of Nan Rendong as a memorial to the Chinese scientific model. Created by Wu Weishan, curator of the National Art Museum, the statue depicts Nan absorbed in scientific work.

Hao Jinxin, deputy director of the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that the name used for the asteroid designation is an international and permanent honor. Asteroid 79694 was first discovered on Sept 25, 1998, and FAST was also opened to the public on the same date in 2016. The FAST project selected Pingtang as its construction site in 1994 and it took Nan more than two decades to fulfil his dream. He is often called the "father of FAST".

Mu Degui, head of the Guizhou provincial publicity department, said that the FAST project brought Guizhou a series of significant changes in scientific and technological innovation, astro-tourism development, talent introduction and international cooperation.

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