Status Report

The 3.6 meter Devasthal Optical Telescope: From inception to realisation

By SpaceRef Editor
May 30, 2019
Filed under , ,

Ram Sagar, Brijesh Kumar, Amitesh Omar

(Submitted on 30 May 2019)

India’s largest size 3.6-m Devashal optical telescope (DOT) was commissioned in the year 2016, though the idea of building it germinated way back in the year 1976. This article provides research accounts as well as glimpses of its nearly 4 decades of journey. After a decade of site surveys, location of Devasthal in central Himalyan region of Kumaon was identified. Thereafter, a detailed site characterization was conducted and project approvals were obtained. The telescope is designed to be a technologically advanced optical astronomy instrument. It has been demonstrated to resolve a binary star having angular separation of 0.4 arc-sec. After the technical activation of the telescope on March 30, 2016, it has been in regular use for testing various back-end instruments as well as for optical and near-infrared observations of celestial objects. Back-end instruments used for these observations are 4KX4K CCD imager, Faint object imager cum spectrograph and TIFR near-infrared camera-II. A few published science results based on the observations taken with the telescope are also presented. Furthermore, the routine observations find that for a good fraction of observing time the telescope provides sky images of sub-arc-second resolution at optical and near-infrared wavelengths. This indicates that the extreme care taken in the design and construction of the telescope dome building has been rewarding since the as-built thermal mass contributes minimally so as not to degrade the natural atmospheric seeing measured at Devasthal about two decades ago during 1997-1999 using differential image motion monitor. The overall on-site performance of the telescope is found to be excellent and at par with the performance of other similar telescopes located over the globe.

Comments: Accepted in Current Science; Number of pages 23; Figures 11 and Tables 3

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Cite as: arXiv:1905.12896 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:1905.12896v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)

Submission history

From: Ram Sagar  

[v1] Thu, 30 May 2019 07:40:04 UTC (5,771 KB)

SpaceRef staff editor.