India joins TMT project as observer

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Old 26-Jun-2010
India joins TMT project as observer

Washington, June 25

India today joined as an observer in the ambitious astronomical observatory, Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT), in Hawaii, which will help in unravelling mysteries of black hole, origin of galaxies and formation of planets among others.

The status of an observer is first step by India in becoming a full partner in TMT, which will be fully operational in 2018 and will be world’s most advanced astronomical observatory, the statement from Project said.

Minister of Science and Technology Prithviraj Chavan announced the decision to join the project here, a statement from the Project which is scheduled to begin scientific operations in 2018 on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

“The government and people of India recognise the importance of embarking on world-class, international science collaborations,” the statement quoted T Ramasami, Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology as saying during the ceremony here.

The telescope will have a 30-metre segmented mirror which uses diffraction of light and focuses in much sharper way than smaller telescopes.

Such a large size of aperture will help it collecting more light thus generating much clearer and sharper images of fainter objects, which may not be possible by present day scopes, the statement said.

The images generated by the telescope will be 12 times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope. The images will be clearer than previous telescopes by a factor of 10 to 100 depending on the observation.

A look at these images will help the scientists to understand several key aspects of universe including the black hole formation, formation of galaxies, starting of the Universe and formation of first heavy elements in it.

This telescope has adaptive optics to correct for the blurring effect of Earth’s atmosphere, it said. — PTI

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