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Ladakh shall be the home of World’s largest telescope?

The International Observatory led world’s largest Telescope project-  costing $1.47 billion with a size of Thirty Meter can be established in the beautiful land of Ladakh. Ladakh has been short-listed as a prospective site by the TMT board following major hurdles in Mauna Kea, Hawaii – the first choice for the project. An international team of space and engineering experts is scheduled to visit Ladakh in next month. Hanle village in Ladakh is already housing the Indian Astronomical Observatory

Hanle Observatory ladakh

Hanle Observatory Ladakh (Image source)

The unexpected move took place recently as in December 2015, Hawaian supreme court dismissed the permit issues to build Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)  in Mauna Kea of Hawai, as the place is believed to be sacred and can disturb local religious beliefs. From then onwards TMT board was in hunt for a suitable place as soon as possible to avoid delay in the project

 

India being a chief contributor to the software used in TMT and also being a manufacturer of edge sensors, actuators and support assemblies

Henry Yang, chair of the TMT International Observatory Board, said, “Given the enormous investment and potential challenges ahead, it is necessary to also carry out a review of alternate sites.”

 

B Eswar Reddy, TMT India program developer and the spokesperson with knowledge of the latest happenings inside the organization, said that board had decided on two potential site – in Ladakh, India and the other in Chile

He added, “Yes, it was an unexpected turn for the project which got delayed due to the decision of the Hawaiian Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the project is also looking for prospective sites both in northern and southern hemispheres, including Hanle.”

 

The chance of Ladakh being seen as a prospective site was increased by the fact that the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) Bengaluru and the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune have already been working on the project since 2013 with 2 government agencies, The department of science and technology (DST) and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)

Indian Institute of Astro Physics

Indian Institute of Astro Physics (Image Source)

News Source: Times of India

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