SW China county bets on astronomy in poverty-relief efforts
A county in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality is betting on astronomy in its poverty-relief efforts.
Meteorological authorities in Youyang Tujia and Miao Autonomous County have recently issued a forecast for stargazing.
In Youyang, nebulas will be visible from Monday to Wednesday, while floating clouds will cover up the stars on Thursday, according to the forecast report, jointly released by weather.com.cn, the county's weather service and the Chongqing municipal weather service.
It is the country's first such forecast.
Youyang is located in the southeastern part of the mountainous Chongqing, with clear sky visibility. Each year from July to October, the county is an ideal place for observing the stars, particularly when there are no clouds or very few clouds. The starry sky and the Milky Way galaxy create a beautiful scene.
Local experts say, the best stargazing period is from 9pm to 3am.
The forecast also suggested five major sites perfect for observing stars. The sites either have high altitude or are close to nature.
According to the county government, the forecast is aimed at powering the local tourism sector and aiding poverty-relief efforts.
China aims to eradicate poverty by 2020, the target year to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
Stargazing is gaining popularity in China, as light pollution in the cities makes it hard to see starry skies. Last month, about 200 astronomy enthusiasts converged in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region at an annual "starry sky conference" to observe the stars.