Add:West Sheshan Hill,Sheshan National Forest Park
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English Service Available
It has two areas, one to the west of the Maria Basilica - the most important basilica of the Far East - and the other to the east. The two areas are known as the new and old areas respectively.
The old area was first founded by a French catholic missionary in 1900. Now the French-style construction has become the center for the popularization of astronomy in China, with a 40cm double refracting telescope also built in 1900 and an astronomical museum.
The new area is nowadays for professional observation and study. It is not open to the public.
Built 114 years ago by a French missionary, it was China’s first observatory with a dome and a modern large-scale astronomical telescope.
One of the biggest highlights is a scaling-down copy of the Jian Telescope, invented by Guo Shouyi, a stargazer during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). He simplified the bulky ancient telescope and greatly improved the accuracy and efficiency. The original one was melted down in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), mistaken as waste copper.
Though old-fashioned today, the Jian Telescope was the most advanced instrument of its kind in the 13th century. It was also the first one in the world to have an equatorial armillary sphere.
In the observatory’s five domes, there is one 15-centimeter-calibresolar telescope, through which visitors can watch the sun’s chromosphere.
The “first telescope in the Far East,” a 40-centimeter caliber, three-ton binocular as old as the observatory, is always a must-see in the observatory. It escaped damage during wars and the cultural revolution (1966-76). Since 1900, the binocular has taken more than 7,000 photos of the universe, including the Halley Comet.
The astronomical library at the site is also a wonder. It includes a collection of books dating back two centuries.
To get there: You can take tour bus Line 1 to get there, you also can choose to take the Bus Route "Shanghai-Sheshan line" (上佘线) and to get off at "Sheshan Observatory". It will only cost 6 yuan to get there if you take the bus at the transportation hub on Longcao Rd.(near Shanghai Grand Stadium)
1. You can book a session at the observatory for 600 RMB. With the help of a telescope operator you can have a closer look at the stars at night.
2. On demand you can watch a documentary (English with Chinese subtitle) about astronomy – but take your time, it lasts one hour and thirty minutes.
3. The museum is divided in two parts. The lower part is about time. Follow the arrow to the upper part, which is in another building. There you will learn more about the history of Chinese astrology.
4. There are no English descriptions besides the exhibits.
Shanghai Astonomical Museum, also known as Songjiang Observatory, is perched on the top of West Sheshan Hill, the highest geological point in Shanghai.