Udaipur Solar Observatory


Udaipur Solar Observatory

Udaipur is often called as 'Venice of the East'. Many beautiful architectural and cultural marvels are located in Udaipur. All the  titles given to city  justified very well if one explores the beauty of the city. The beauty of the city lies in the captivating and baronial palaces, lakes, gardens and crafts village. However if one is looking for some knowledge in space or want to explore the space, Udaipur Solar Observatory is the best suited place in Udaipur. Udaipur Solar Observatory often called as USO, is contrived to be one of the best solar observing site in Asia.

Udaipur Solar Observatory was projected as per the model of Solar Observatory at Big Bear Lake in Sourthen California. Udaipur Solar Observatory was built in 1975 by Dr. Arvind Bhatnagar under the Vedshala trust of Ahmedabad. Since 1981, USO has been carried off by the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, for the Department of Space, Government of India.

The main objective of The Udaipur Solar Observatory is incurring the high spatial and temporal resolution observations of solar photospheric and chromospheric activity, to interpret the various dynamic phenomena taking place on the surface of the Sun.

The Udaipur Solar Observatory is situated on a small islet in the middle of Fatehsagar Lake and the main office building is located near Bari junction. USO is among those elite group of reputed laboratories in the world that are situated on islands.

The conditions at the observatory are highly favourable for solar observations. The large water body encompassing the telescopes scopes out the amount of heating of the surface layers. This decreases the upheaval in the air mass and thereby amends the image caliber and seeing. So, sharp images can be took on from this location. This is one of the reason of USO being located on an island. Also, as this is located in Rajasthan, number of cloudless days are more, which step-ups the better observation.

Employing a variety of telescopes, USO is known for its solar observations, which include high-resolution solar chromospheric, velocity,  magnetic field and spectral watchings. All the telescopes are used for studies referring to solar flares, mass ejections, and the evolution of solar active regions. Currently, in USO, there are five different telescopes for the said purpose. Five telescopes that are installed at USO are:

Full Disk H-alpha telescope

For taking full disk H-alpha synoptic observations of solar activity, a 6-foot Razdow telescope is used.

H-alpha Spar Telescope

It is a 12-foot solar spar with 25-cm aperture telescope, that have been used for observing small high resolution chromospheric structures.

Scale Vector Magnetograph

As Scale Vector Magnetograph is mounted on a German Equatorial Mount, it tracks the sun and also reduces the seeing error induced in polarometry by working as spectrometer. It was developed in-house and installed in 2007.

Coude' Telescope

This telescope is used for feeding light into the Adaptive Optics (AO) lab of USO.

GONG Telescope (one among the only five in the whole world.)
It monitors the Sun automatically, and takes digital velocity images of the sun every minute.

Also, USO fills the large longitudinal gap between Australia and Spain, and provides a link for uninterrupted solar coverage in international collaborative programs, admitting the Global Oscillations Network Group (GONG).

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