The highest view

Published: Sunday 30 September 2001

the world's highest observatory has been commissioned in Hanle, a remote village in Ladakh. The observatory is situated 4,500 metres above sea level. For astronomers, the observatory's height is crucial for getting a clear view of the space. This observatory, likely to be named the Chandra, is billed as the most advanced astronomical facility in Asia that will study how galaxies and stars evolve. Its telescope has a two-metre large mirror that will provide continuous coverage of half the world -- starting from Canary Islands to eastern Australia. A team from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics has already begun work. A giant six to eight metre telescope or a two-metre binocular telescope would soon be installed. "Our plan is to develop the site into a high-altitude experimental park which would house multi-disciplinary research teams," says V S Ramamuthy of the department of science and technology.

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