The Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) located at Hanle near Leh in Ladakh is becoming one of the globally promising observatory sites, according to a recent study.
Prelims, GS-III: Science and Technology
Dimensions of the Article:
- About IAO at Hanle
- About Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH)
About IAO at Hanle
- India’s first robotic telescope set up as a part of the international GROWTH program, is located at the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) at Hanle in Ladakh.
- The telescope is a joint project of the Bangalore-based Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB).
- Called GROWTH-India, the facility at Hanle is part of a multi-country collaborative initiative known as Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH) to observe transient events in the universe.
- The telescope also has the badge of being housed in the one of the world’s highest astronomical observatories at 4,500 meters.
- It is becoming one of the globally promising observatory sites due to its advantages of more clear nights, minimal light pollution, background aerosol concentration, extremely dry atmospheric condition and uninterrupted monsoon.
- Night observations at IAO Hanle from 2m-Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) are possible throughout the year without any interruption due to monsoon
About Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH)
- The GROWTH program is a 5-year project, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (a United States government agency).
- It is an international collaborative network of astronomers and telescopes dedicated to the study of short-lived cosmic transients (energetic flashes of light from explosive deaths of massive stars, white dwarf detonations, etc.) and near-earth asteroids.
- The primary focus is on the:
- Search for explosions in the optical regime whenever Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) group detects a Binary Neutron Star merger.
- Study of nearby young supernova explosions.
- Study of nearby asteroids.
-Source: The Hindu