Himalayan Chandra Telescope completes successful 20 years

Published: September 28, 2020

The Himalayan Chandra Telescope is located at the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO). It has been scanning the night sky in search of comets, stellar explosions, exo-planets and asteroids.


It operates using delicate satellite communication link from Centre for Research and Education in Science and Technology (CREST), IIA (Indian Institute of Astrophysics). The telescope marked 20 years of successful operation with more than 260 research papers published using data obtained from it.

Other Telescopes at IAO

The Indian Astronomical Observatory is located at Hanle, Ladakh. The telescopes located at the observatory are as follows

  • Himalayan Chandra Telescope
  • Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH) India
  • Imaging Cherenkov Telescope (MACE)
  • Gamma-Ray Array Telescope (HAGAR)

Himalayan Chandra Telescope

  • It is located on Mt Saraswati at an altitude of 4,500 metres. It is operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore. It was installed by IIA, Bangalore in 2000. The telescope has three major science instruments namely Near-IR Imager, Himalayan Faint Object Spectrograph and Optical CCD Imager.
  • The telescope is remotely operated by INSAT-3B satellite link that allows operation even in sub-zero temperatures.
  • It generated 1000 GB of data in a year.

MACE Telescope

The Major Atmospheric Cerenkov Experiment Telescope is an imaging telescope. It is the highest Cerenkov Telescope in the world. Also, it is the second largest gamma ray telescope in the world. The telescope is named after the USSR Scientist Pavel Cerenkov. He predicted that charged particles moving at high speeds emit light.

HAGAR Telescope

HAGAR is High Altitude Gamma Ray Telescope. It is an atmospheric Cerenkov telescope that was set up in 2008. It has an array of seven telescopes.

GROWTH Telescope

It was the first robotic telescope of India. It is an international collaborative of telescopes and astronomers to study the short-lived cosmic transients and near-earth asteroids.