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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 February, 2004, 06:53 GMT
Telescope cheer for astronomers
Yunnan telescope
The Yunnan will be the largest telescope in Asia
Astronomers at a Liverpool university are celebrating the completion of the world's largest robotic telescope.

Measuring 2.4m wide and costing nearly 2.5m to build, the Yunnan telescope will search for planets and study the age of the universe.

It was ordered by the Chinese government and built by Telescope Technologies Ltd (TTL), a subsidary of Liverpool John Moores University (JMU).

The Yunnan will be sited at the Gao Meigu Observatory in south west China.

The telescope uses a wide-field camera, capable of surveying millions of stars and galaxies.

It is part of the government's programme to develop modern astronomical facilities in China.

JMU research fellow Dr Chris Moss said the telescope will be the largest in Asia, and will be used by astronomers from all over China.

"Work with the telescope will lead to a new era of co-operation between Chinese and UK astronomy, particularly at John Moores University."

Mr Zha Peixin, Chinese Ambassador to the UK, will be in Birkenhead at around 1730 GMT to unveil the telescope.

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