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Title: Indian Astronomical Observatory, Leh-Hanle
Authors: Prabhu, T. P
Keywords: Astronomy – Optical;Infrared;Gamma rays;Astronomical observatories;High altitude science – Astrophysics;Geophysics;Atmospheric studies
Issue Date: Nov-2014
Publisher: Indian National Science Academy
Citation: Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy, Vol. 80, No. 4, pp. 887-912
Abstract: Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO), Hanle, was set up by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), in the year 1997 in Changthang region of Leh district of Jammu & Kashmir at an altitude of 4500 m above mean sea level. Though the primary interest was to undertake astronomical studies from the high altitude cold desert site that provides the largest number of clear and highly transparent skies in India, the presence of IIA in the pristine, geographically unique site has spurred development of many experiments in several branches of science. Since the activities of the observatory now span the entire area of Leh district, the office and laboratories of the observatory are being set up in Leh, the district headquarters. Site characterization of Hanle began in 1994 and the infrastructure development in 1996. The first phase of development ended in 2000 with the commissioning of 2-m Himalayan Chandra Telescope. The telescope was remotely controlled and equipped with instruments for regular use since 2003. Utilizing this infrastructure, very high energy gamma ray astronomy was initiated with the commissioning of HAGAR in 2007 and MACE to be installed beginning 2015 summer. Different institutions have utilized the infrastructure for various experiments in earth sciences.
ISSN: 0370-0046
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Appears in Collections:IIAP Publications

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