On 19th July 2017, 40 students visited the Indian Institute of Astrophysics – CREST Hoskote, which was indeed a very inspiring and a wonderful experience, initiated by Science Forum.
The IIA is famous for its beautiful and pleasant environment and most importantly for the knowledge it imparts, where we observed the live controlling of one of Asia’s largest telescope- The Himalayan Chandra Telescope- situated at an altitude of 14,200 ft. at Hanle base camp, Ladakh. It works entirely on solar power and last year, not a single rupee was spent to operate this telescope. Professor BC Bhatt, a well-known scientist at IIA informed us that it captures images in infrared spectrum with ease as the climatic conditions are very suitable with dry weather and less rainfall.
Professor Bhatt also highlighted certain important concepts such as cosmic collisions, parts and working of a telescope, and CME (Coronal Mass Ejections) blackouts which cause hindrance to satellite functions. He also mentioned about upcoming projects like constructing a 30m reflecting telescope in collaboration with 5 countries by 2022. It was a proud moment to realize that our country is progressing and is at par with the other advanced countries in field of science and technology.
At the end, we observed recent images captured by The Himalayan Chandra Telescope and Professor Bhatt talked about supernovae formations.
It was indeed a very beneficial and worthwhile experience and we look forward for similar field trips.
Mariam Aaliya, 2 PCMB A
Nikithaa Paarakh, 2 PCMB B
Picture credit- Yash Darira -1 PCME I
Siddharth- 2 PCMB G