Two key astronomical heritage sites inscribed on World Heritage List

Two important astronomical heritage sites were inscribed on to UNESCO’s World Heritage List at the 2010 World Heritage Committee meeting in Brasilia.

The first is the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur, an early-18th-century astronomical observatory comprising 19 large instruments for naked-eye observation. This represents one of the most complete and impressive collections in the world of telescopic masonry instruments in functioning condition.

The second is the 13th-century Dengfeng Observatory in China, inscribed as part of “Historic Monuments of Dengfeng in ‘The Centre of Heaven and Earth’”. This extraordinary horizontal gnomon and 31m-long measuring scale was used for accurately measuring the length of the sun's noontime shadow, and hence for determining the length of the tropical year and the curvature of the earth.

For more information on World Heritage properties see whc.unesco.org/en/list.

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