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A Bridge between China and the Rest of the World


APR 6, THURS: "Science of Heaven", an RASBJ film showing and QA

For thousands of years, Chinese astronomers have watched the sky, day and night, seeking “symbols from above, which show good or bad fortune” as the Yi Jing or “Book of Changes” put it. They carefully logged observations of comets for 22 centuries, including Halley’s Comet which returns every 76 years.  Yet they never used their vast collection of data points to deduce mathematical theories about the movement of planets and comets as European observers such as Galileo, Kepler or Newton did. But China’s been catching up; Beijing’s space program put a human into orbit in less than four decades, and plans a Chinese moonwalk soon. China’s Five-Year Plan calls for accelerated efforts to explore planets, asteroids and the sun. This 52-minute documentary explores the Chinese history of the “Science of Heaven”, establishing links to Beijing’s most recent explorations in astronomy and astrophysics.  The filmmakers visited remote Chinese observatories, witnessed the final construction phase of the world’s largest radio telescope in Guizhou – and hopes to tag along with China’s Lunar Program.

WHAT: "The Science of Heaven”, a documentary film screening plus QA

WHEN: April 6, Thursday, from 7:30-9:30 PM

WHERE: The Bookworm, Building 4, Nan Sanlitun Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing. Tel: 6586 9507 MAP [link  http://beijingbookworm.com/contact-us/]

HOW MUCH: RASBJ/Bookworm members RMB65, non-members RMB75

RSVP: email communications.ras.bj@gmail.com and write "Heaven" in the subject header

This documentary was originally conceived by Richard de Grijs  of the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University, and Ziping Zhang of the Beijing Planetarium. They commissioned René Seegers as director/producer and secured funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC). The documentary is targeted at a general audience. De Grijs and Seegers will answer questions from the audience after the screening.

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