The Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) ,Hanle

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According to the recent study The Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) located at Hanle near Leh in Ladakh is becoming one of the promising observatory sites globally.

  • They analysed datasets for the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) in Hanle and 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 and Paranal in Chile, and the National Astronomical Observatory in Mexico.

Key findings:

  • The team found that the Hanle site which is as dry as Atacama Desert in Chile and much drier than Devasthal and has around 270 clear nights in a year and is also one of the emerging sites for infrared and sub-mm optical astronomy.
  • Night observations at IAO-Hanle from 2m-Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) are possible throughout the year without any interruption due to monsoons. 
  • Due to the advantages of more clear nights, minimal light pollution, background aerosol concentration, extremely dry atmospheric conditions, and uninterrupted by monsoon, this region is becoming one of the promising sites globally for the next generation of astronomical observatories.
  • Detailed studies of long-term cloud fraction and other various meteorological parameters help IIA plan for several mega-science projects such as National Large Solar Telescope (NLST) of 2-meter aperture and National Large Optical Telescope (NLOT) of 8-10 meter aperture at Merak and Hanle, respectively in the high-altitude Ladakh region.


Source : PIB

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