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Astronomy

Astronomical observatories in India

Observatory

Established

Altitude

Location

Functions

Allahabad Observatory

   

suburb of Jhusi near Allahabad

    • Maintains the Indian Standard Time.
    • The observatory is located at 82.5°E longitude, which translates to an exact time difference of 5 hours and 30 minutes ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) i.e. UTC+05:30.

Colaba Observatory

1826 by the East India Company

 

Island of Colaba, Mumbai

Astronomical, timekeeping, geomagnetic and meteorological observatory.

Devasthal

1998

2,450m (8,040 ft.)

Nainital, Western Himalaya, Uttarakhand

    • Currently, a 130-cm optical telescope is working at the site.
    • The sites are managed by the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital.

Gauribidanur Radio Observatory

1976

 

Gauribidanur, Chikballapur, Karnataka.

    • Radio telescope observatory.
    • Operated jointly by Raman Research Institute and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics.

Giant Metre-wave Radio Telescope (GMRT)

1995

 

Pune

    • Operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, a part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai.
    • To search for the highly redshifted 21-cm line radiation from primordial neutral hydrogen clouds in order to determine the epoch of galaxy formation in the universe.
    • Pulsar research is another major area for GMRT study.
    • At the time it was built, it was the world's largest interferometric array.

Girawali Observatory

2006

1000m

Pune

    • Optical astronomy observatory
    • Operated by the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune.

Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO)

2001

4,500 meters (14,764 ft.)

Hanle, J&K, India

Facilities:

  1. optical-infrared Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) (Currently the second highest optical telescope in the world.)
  2. High Altitude Gamma Ray Telescope (HAGAR).

Operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore.

Kodaikanal Solar Observatory

1899

2,343 meters (7,687 ft.

Palani Hills, Kodaikanal town, Dindigul district,

Tamil Nadu

Owned and operated by Indian Institute of Astrophysics.

Facilities

  1.  ionosonde and geomagnetic facilities
  2.  solar tower with modern spectrograph(performed the first ever helioseismology investigations)

Madras Observatory

1786 by British East India Company

 

Madras

For over a century it was the only astronomical observatory in India that exclusively worked on the stars.

Major Atmospheric Cerenkov Experiment Telescope

Expected to be operational by 2016

4,500 m (14,800 ft.)

Hanle, Ladakh, India

    • When installed, the telescope will be the second-largest gamma ray telescope in the world.
    • It will enhance the understanding in the fields of astrophysics, fundamental physics, and particle acceleration mechanisms.
    • It is being built by Electronics Corporation of India, Hyderabad, for the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.

Mount Abu Observatory

1990

1680 metres

 Mount Abu, Rajasthan.

The 1.2 m Infrared Telescope at Mount Abu is the first major facility in India specifically designed for ground based infrared observations of celestial objects.

Ooty Radio Telescope

1970

2240 m

Muthorai, near Ooty, Tamil Nadu, India

    • Provides the day-to-day changes of the solar wind speed and density turbulence in the inner heliosphere.
    • Pulsar Timing observations.
    • Spectral line observations.

Pachmarhi Telescope Array or

Pachmarhi Array of Cerenkov Telescopes (PACT)

1986

1,075 m (3,527 ft.)

Pachmarhi in Madhya Pradesh

    • An array of 24 telescopes for gamma-ray astronomy.
    • It is operated by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

Udaipur Solar Observatory(USO)

1976

 

Udaipur, Rajasthan on an island in the Fateh Sagar Lake.

Solar observations, which include high-resolution solar chromosphere, magnetic field, velocity, and spectral observations, for studies pertaining to solar flares, mass ejections, and the evolution of solar active regions.

Vainu Bappu Observatory

1986

700 m

(2,297 ft.)

Kavalur, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

    • Owned and operated by Indian Institute of Astrophysics.
    • Deep sky observations are carried out with this telescope using a variety of focal plane instruments.
    • The equatorially mounted horse-shoe-yoke structure of the telescope is ideally suited for low latitudes and permits easy observation near the north celestial pole.

Magnetic observatories have been running in India for more than 180 years. Three of the oldest observatories, namely Madras Observatory (1822–1881), Shimla Observatory (1841–1845), and Trivandrum Observatory (1841–1871) participated in the international collaboration venture involving simultaneous magnetic measurements at 50 observatories all over the globe organized by the Göttingen Magnetic Union 1836–1841.