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17 September 2012 New optical telescope projects at Devasthal Observatory
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Abstract
Devasthal, located in the Kumaun region of Himalayas is emerging as one of the best optical astronomy site in the continent. The minimum recorded ground level atmospheric seeing at the site is 0.006 with median value at 1.001. Currently, a 1.3-m fast (f/4) wide field-of-view (660) optical telescope is operating at the site. In near future, a 4-m liquid mirror telescope in collaboration with Belgium and Canada, and a 3.6-m optical telescope in collaboration with Belgium are expected to be installed in 2013. The telescopes will be operated by Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences. The first instruments on the 3.6-m telescope will be in-house designed and assembled faint object spectrograph and camera. The second generation instruments will be including a large field-of-view optical imager, high resolution optical spectrograph, integral field unit and an optical near-infrared spectrograph. The 1.3-m telescope is primarily used for wide field photometry imaging while the liquid mirror telescope will see a time bound operation to image half a degree wide strip in the galactic plane. There will be an aluminizing plant at the site to coat mirrors of sizes up to 3.7 m. The Devasthal Observatory and its geographical importance in between major astronomical observatories makes it important for time critical observations requiring continuous monitoring of variable and transient objects from ground based observatories. The site characteristics, its expansions plans and first results from the existing telescope are presented.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Ram Sagar, Brijesh Kumar, Amitesh Omar, and A. K. Pandey "New optical telescope projects at Devasthal Observatory", Proc. SPIE 8444, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes IV, 84441T (17 September 2012); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.925634
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