Himalayan Chandra Telescope
In the cold, dry desert of Ladakh, 4500 meters above the mean sea level, for two decades, the 2-m diameter optical-infrared Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) at the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) has been scanning the night sky in search of stellar explosions, comets, asteroids, and exo-planets.
About Himalayan-Chandra Telescope
- The Himalayan Chandra Telescope is a 2.01-meter (6.5 feet) diameter optical-infrared telescope named after India-born Nobel laureate Subrahmanyam Chandrasekhar.
- It was installed at the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO), Mt. Saraswati, Digpa-ratsa Ri, Hanle, Ladakh at an altitude of 4500 m (15000 ft) above mean sea level (msl) by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore, in August 2000.
- Its primary goal is to study electromagnetic counterparts to gravitational wave sources, young supernovae and near-earth asteroids.
- It contains a modified Ritchey-Chretien system with a primary mirror made of ULE ceramic which is designed to withstand low temperatures it experiences.
- The telescope is mounted with 3 science instruments called – Himalaya Faint Object Spectrograph (HFOSC), Near-IR imager and Optical CCD imager.
- The telescope is remotely operated via an INSAT-3B satellite link which allows operation even in sub-zero temperatures in winter.
- This dedicated link is provided by the Centre for Research & Education in Science & Technology (CREST), Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore.
- It is the country’s first robotic telescope and the first one designed to observe dynamic or transient events in the universe.