A 4m state-of-the-art astronomical observatory has been established by the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IIT-H), the first on-campus astronomical research facility among all IITs.
Primarily designed as a frontier research facility in astronomy, the Advanced Darksky Observatory (ADO), with adaptive imaging and multi-filter spectroscopy, will provide an imaging and spectroscopic data bank, which will be a valuable resource for research and modern education.
Former Chairman of ISRO, K. Radhakrishnan, inaugurated the Advanced Darksky Observatory (ADO) as part of the National Science Day celebrations at the Department of Physics, IIT-H, on Tuesday.
Highlighting the importance of such an observatory, Radhakrishnan said, “It is a wonderful robotic telescope that you have built here. You will be a major contributor if all the engineering science capabilities of this institute are combined to create a new instrument for space exploration.”
ADO will host a 0.5 m robotic optical telescope (the largest in the small telescope category) with a magnification of ~1000x, capable of resolving structures as small as 25 km on the Moon’s surface, Saturn’s isolated rings, detecting active galaxies up to 1.5 giga light-years (1,419 billion km) away. .
Due to its upcoming fully robotic capabilities, the observatory will be able to integrate global telescope network systems such as NASA’s Global Telescope Network (GTN) for emergency alerts to the scientific community about transient celestial events, asteroids and meteorites. It will complement ISRO’s existing and future space-based astronomical observatories.
BS Murthy, Director, IIT-H, said, “At IIT-H, we have installed a 14-inch telescope under a special ADO, which can give us a glimpse into the smallest details of space that one would ever be able to. Learn more about them , and ensure that knowledge about space, in general, improves.”
Apart from leading astronomical and planetary research, the observatory will be actively involved in the development and R&D of advanced imaging equipment.
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