China has launched its first solar observatory with success.

On Sunday, China successfully launched the Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S), its first complete space-based solar observatory.

The observatory has been dubbed Kuafu-1, after a Chinese mythological giant who aspired to catch and tame the Sun.

It was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China on a Long March-2D carrier rocket.

The four-year mission will enable scientists to gather and analyse hitherto unheard-of photos of the Sun.

ASO-S is China's first full-scale apparatus dedicated to studying the Sun.

According to Zhu Cheng, chief engineer of the ASO-S platform system, it is also the world's first solar telescope in space that can monitor solar flares at the same time.

Kuafu-1 will monitor the Sun at an altitude of 720 kilometres (447 miles).

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