What is Liquid Mirror Telescope? India's first Liquid Mirror Telescope in Uttarakhand
Liquid Mirror Telescope India: A unique liquid-mirror telescope has been commissioned by India atop a mountain in the Himalayan region, Uttarakhand. The liquid Mirror Telescope in India will keep a close watch on the skies to identify transient or variable objects such as asteroids, space debris, supernovae, and gravitational lenses. The one of its kind telescope is India’s first and Asia’s largest liquid mirror telescope. Reportedly, the telescope has now entered the commissioning phase in India and will start the scientific observations in October 2022. International Liquid Mirror Telescope in India is also the only liquid mirror telescope that is operational anywhere in the world.
It is the first liquid mirror telescope in the country & largest in Asia.
The telescope will help in surveying the sky making it possible to observe several galaxies & other astronomical sources just by staring at strip of sky that passes overhead.@DrJitendraSingh @srivaric pic.twitter.com/48FN4rrmre
— DSTIndia (@IndiaDST)
June 2, 2022
What is Liquid Mirror Telescope?
Liquid Mirror Telescope in Uttarakhand will observe the asteroids, space debris, supernovae, and all the other celestial objects from an altitude of 2,450 metres in the Himalayas. Only a handful of Liquid Mirror telescopes have been previously built but they were majorly used either for tracking the satellites or for military purposes.
The International Liquid Mirror Telescope will operate every night for five years and will carry out daily imaging except between June and August monsoon months. The precaution will be taken to protect the instruments from humid conditions.
Where is Liquid Mirror Telescope in India is established?
The first Liquid Mirror Telescope in India has been established on the campus of the Devasthal Observatory of the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) in Nainital.
Devasthal is considered to be one of the best sites for astronomical observations. It will be third telescope to be operating from Devasthal after the 3.6 meter Devasthal Optical Telescope and the 1.3 metre Devasthal Fast Optical Telescope.
Who designed the Liquid Mirror Telescope?
The International Liquid Mirror Telescope was designed and built at the Advanced Mechanical and Optical Systems Corporation and the Centre Spatial de Liege, Belgium.
The major instrumentation funding of the Liquid Mirror Telescope was jointly provided by Belgium and Canada while India is responsible for the operations and the upkeep of the telescope.
Liquid Mirror Telescope Uttarakhand: How it is different?
Unlike the conventional telescopes that can be steered to track the specific stellar source objects, the Liquid Mirror Telescope will be stationary. The telescope will basically carry out the observations and imaging at the zenith, that is, of the overhead sky. The latest Liquid Mirror Telescope is a survey telescope that has a high potential for discovering newer objects.
The data generated by the Liquid Mirror Telescope will be ideally suited to perform the deep photometric and astrometric variability surveys over the period of five years.