INDIAN ASTRONOMICAL UNION
- January 27, 2021
- Posted by: admin1
- Category: DPN Topics
INDIAN ASTRONOMICAL UNION
Subject : Science & tech
Context : The Indian Astronomical Observatory located in Hanle near Leh was featured in the Republic day tableau .
- The Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO), located in Hanle near Leh in Ladakh, India, has one of the world’s highest located sites for optical, infrared and gamma-ray telescopes.
- The Indian Astronomical Observatory, the high-altitude station of IIA is situated at an altitude of 4500 metres above mean sea level to the north of Western Himalayas.
- It is operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore. It is currently the ninth highest optical telescope in the world, situated at an elevation of 4,500 meters.
- A 2-m optical infrared telescope is installed at the observatory. This telescope is remotely operated from CREST, Hosakote, using dedicated satellite links.
- A 0.70m wide field robotic telescope is under installation for monitoring transients, under the GROWTH project.
- Other larger facilities at IAO in Hanle include the Himalayan Chandra Telescope, the gamma-ray array telescope (HAGAR), and the imaging Cherenkov telescope (MACE)
- IAO also hosts several site monitoring instruments such as seeing monitor, extinction monitor, all sky camera, Automated Weather Station, etc. The site is being characterised for a 10m class telescope.
Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH)
- The GROWTH program is a 5 year project, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF is a United States government agency.
- It is an international collaborative network of astronomers and telescopes dedicated to the study of short-lived cosmic transients and near-earth asteroids.
- Cosmic transients are energetic flashes of light that are millions to billions of times the brightness of the sun, e.g. explosive deaths of massive stars, white dwarf detonations, etc.
- Key follow-up observations of fast-fading or fast-moving events must occur at night promptly after discovery but before the sun rises.
- Therefore, a relay or network of telescopes spanning multiple longitudes (time-zones) on earth is required to pass the baton amongst each other to effectively extend the night-time darkness.
- GROWTH enables detailed monitoring of events that would otherwise vanish before the next night.
- Its goals are threefold:
Search for explosions in the optical regime whenever Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) group detects a Binary Neutron Star merger.
Study nearby young supernova explosions.
Study nearby asteroids.