Washington: India Friday joined as an
observer in the ambitious astronomical observatory - Thirty Meter 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 the year 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 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
"We believe the Thirty Meter Telescope will enable us to
continue and expand our role as an international leader in
technology development and fundamental research," he said.
The telescope will have a 30-meter 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.
The blurring effect refers to distortion of images
received in a telescope resulting from bending of light as it
passes through different surfaces of earth's atmosphere and is
considered a major problem in observatories located on Earth.
Chairman of the TMT board and Chancellor of the
California University Henry Yang also welcomed Indian
participation calling terming the country as "well recognised"
and "respected" in the field of basic research.
"As part of TMT, India will be an integral part of the
next generation of astronomical research. We welcome their
collaboration on this exciting project," he said.
"As an Observer, we can now begin exploring the specific
areas where India can contribute to the project and look
forward to their becoming a full partner with a formal
agreement and commitment for funding," Edward Stone Vice-chair
of the TMT board said.
First Published: Friday, June 25, 2010, 20:50