IIT-Hyderabad launches its first observatory on Independence Day | Hyderabad News – Times of India


HYDERABAD: As part of its public outreach, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad launched its first astronomical observatory with a large telescope at the Kandi campus on Sunday during Independence Day celebrations.
The 14-inch telescope with an optical mirror of 355 mm and focal length of 1,650 mm would not only allow amateur astronomical observations, but will also provide research quality images for potential discoveries. It is the second-largest telescope in IITs dedicated to outreach after IIT-Kanpur.
An advanced digital camera would be used to record images and transient astronomical phenomena like meteor showers.
Although the telescope would primarily be used for outreach and night sky observational training programmes, it has capabilities to deliver research-level performance, which would be explored subsequently by the institute.
“With this large telescope, we will provide young students an opportunity to study celestial objects in greater detail than other small telescopes conventionally used for outreach programmes. Activities such as stargazing training programmes, observing astronomical transients, working with celestial images will enhance their knowledge, add to their sense of human connection with space,” said IITHyderabad director Professor BS Murty, who funded the project.
Due to its superior quality images, data from the observatory is also likely to serve national and international researchers. Such collaborations can help IIT-Hyderabad become part of major astronomical discoveries and a recognised centre for astronomy in India.
“Unlike other observatories designed for the outreach programme, our facility will provide a chance to work with high-quality astronomical images from deep sky objects as well as transient events so that school/college students may have opportunities to contribute to the astronomical research,” said department of physics assistant professor, Mayukh Pahari, who would be managing the facility.

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