- Chinese astronomers have been active for millennia, with their own constellations (‘mansions’) and star names, and their own careful observations – e.g. of comets and of the supernova of AD 1054 – which are still of use. The Purple Mountain Observatory, where the 1054 supernova was recorded, is probably the oldest observatory still active in the world. About AD 250 the Chinese astronomer Ch’i Meng was one of the first to propose a theory of the universe involving immense volumes of empty space, in contrast to the cramped, music-box universes of European culture.
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