IAO Hanle

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    In Context

    • According to a recent study, the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) is becoming one of the promising observatory sites globally.

                   Image Courtesy: TH

     

    • According to the Department of Science and Technology, this is due to its advantages of: 
    • Clear nights
    • Minimal light pollution
    • Background aerosol concentration
    • Extremely dry atmospheric condition 
    • Uninterrupted monsoon
    • The research analysed Eight observatories
      • Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) in Hanle, Merak (Ladakh) and Devasthal (Nainital) in India, 
      • Ali Observatory in the Tibet Autonomous Region in China
      • South African Large Telescope in South Africa
      • University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory 
      • Paranal in Chile
      • National Astronomical Observatory in Mexico.

    About Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO)

    • It is located in Hanle near Leh in Ladakh and has one of the world’s highest located sites for optical, infrared and gamma-ray telescopes.
    • 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 (14,764 ft).
    • The Indian Astronomical Observatory stands on Mt. Saraswati, Hanle in south-eastern Ladakh union territory.
    • The Observatory has two active telescopes.
      • These are the 2.01 meter optical-infrared Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) and,
      • a High Altitude Gamma Ray Telescope (HAGAR).
    • It is becoming one of the globally promising observatory sites, reveals a recent study.

    Source: TH