Wide Field Survey Telescope

University of Science and Technology of China; Purple Mountain Observatory

Time-domain astronomy through large-scale repeated observations, exploring various astronomical objects and new phenomena in the universe, and monitoring the time variation of various astronomical objects, is a new direction for astronomy to have major scientific opportunities.


The wide field survey telescope (WFST), jointly developed by the University of Science and Technology of China and the Purple Mountain Observatory, is an image observation telescope. This machine is characterized by a 2.5-meter primary mirror and a prime-focus camera of a field of view (FOV) 7 square degrees filled with a 9K× 9K × 9K mosaic CCD detector. It is the most powerful time-domain survey equipment in the northern sky. With an atmospheric distortion corrector, its advanced optical design promises a homogeneous and distortion-free image quality that 80% energy of a point source falls within 0.4 arcsecond across the entire FOV. The image quality holds in the u, g, r, i, z and w bands.

Science Goals

  1. survey the northern sky with the highest sensitivity to explore the variable universe and catch up the time-domain events, which are either science breakthrough such as gravitational events or unknown in the current framework of astrophysics;
  2. find and track one million solar system objects for a panchromatic view of the solar system and understand its kinematic evolution; discover planets or their moons in the Kuiper Belt and beyond;
  3. provide high-precision astrometric and photometric catalogs of objects down to r <25 mag, allowing us to precisely map structures of the Milky Way and the nearby universe."