Indian observatories becoming prime for deep space observations

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Indian observatories becoming prime for deep space observations

  • India is fast becoming a prime location for astronomical studies with its observatory located near Leh that offers a clear view of space among all observatories globally.
  • A new study shows that the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) located in Hanle is one of the emerging sites for infrared and optical astronomy studies.
  • The study was carried out by a team of researchers from both India and other countries.

About Study

  • The researchers studied the nighttime cloud cover fraction over eight high altitude observatories among which three belonged to India.
  • The eight observatories included:
  1. Indian Astronomical Observatory (Hanle and Merak, Ladakh)
  2. Devasthal (Nainital)
  3. Ali Observatory in China
  4. South African Large Telescope in South Africa
  5. University of Tokyo Atacama Observatory and Paranal in Chile
  6. National Astronomical Observatory in Mexico

Why Indian Observatory became a prime location:

  • Deep space study requires some essential criteria.
  • In order to conduct a deep space study, the non-interruption by the monsoon, clear night, atmospheric conditions among other factors are essential to be noted.
  • For Indian Astronomical Observatory, most of the criteria were rather satisfying.
  • The benefit of crystal clear nights along with minimal light pollution, background aerosol concentration, no interruption by the monsoon, extremely dry atmosphere condition, contributed in one of the promising observatory sites globally.