Himalayan Chandra Telescope | UPSC

Himalayan Chandra Telescope | UPSC

      HEADLINES:

Workshop to mark 20 years of Himalayan Chandra Telescope to highlight the science it produced

      WHY IN NEWS:

Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) has been used in many coordinated international campaigns to monitor stellar explosions, comets, and exo-planets, and has contributed significantly to these studies

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Science & Technology
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Science and Technology

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS note down the key features and the components . UPSC is fond of picking such questions #anniversaries.

      ISSUE: 

It is 20th birthday of HCT crediting itself with 260 research papers using data obtained from it.

HIMALAYAN CHANDRA TELESCOPE

  • The Himalayan Chandra Telescope is a 2.01 meters (6.5 feet) diameter optical-infrared telescope .
  • It is named after India-born Nobel laureate Subrahmanyam Chandrasekhar.
  • It contains a modified Ritchey-Chretien system with a primary mirror made of ULE ceramic which is designed to withstand low temperatures it experiences.

MISSION

Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) has been scanning the night sky in search of stellar explosions, comets, asteroids, and exo-planets.

  • The area of research covers a wide range of topics, from solar system objects to cosmology.

MANUFACTURED BY

The telescope was manufactured by Electo-Optical System Technologies Inc. at Tucson, Arizona, USA.

COMPONENTS

The telescope is mounted with 3 science instruments:

  • Himalaya Faint Object Spectrograph (HFOSC)
  • The near-IR imager and
  • The optical CCD imager.

FEATURES

The telescope is remotely operated via an INSAT-3B satellite link.

  • This allows Himalayan Chandra Telescope operation even in sub-zero temperatures in winter.

OPERATED BY

  • It is placed in the cold, dry desert of Ladakh, 4500 meters above the mean sea level at the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) .

The telescope remotely operated from the Centre for Research & Education in Science & Technology (CREST), Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Hosakote.

  • Hosakote is about 35 km northeast of Bangalore.

Himalayan Chandra Telescope | UPSC

PHOTO CREDITS : COLORODYSSEY.COM

KEY RESEARCH AREAS

  • Study of solar system bodies like; comets, asteroids etc. and young stellar objects.
  • Study of open and globular clusters and variable stars in them, abundance analysis of elements in the atmosphere of evolved stars.

Research on star formation in external galaxies, stellar explosions like novae, supernovae, gamma-ray bursts and so on.

  • The telescope has been used in many coordinated international campaigns to monitor stellar explosions, comets, and exo-planets.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • HCT has provided data that has been used in the Ph.D. of 40 students.
  • Currently, 36 students are pursuing Ph.D. degree, are collecting data with the HCT.
  • Building, maintaining, and effective scientific use of the HCT has given our observational astronomy community a great experience.
  • It also boosts confidence to be the creators and international partners in the best of next-gen optical telescopes.
  • To mark the 20 years of the first light event of the 2m HCT, IIA has organized a two-day online science workshop during September 29-30, 2020.
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | Himalayan Chandra Telescope | UPSC

 

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