Asia’s largest 4-metre International Liquid Mirror Telescope:
The Union Minister of Science & Technology inaugurated Asia’s largest 4-metre International Liquid Mirror Telescope at Devasthal in Uttarakhand.
- International Liquid Mirror Telescope is the first liquid mirror telescope designed exclusively for astronomical observations and is the first optical survey telescope in India.
- It has a 4-meter-diameter rotating mirror made up of a thin layer of liquid mercury to collect and focus light.
- The metal mercury is in liquid form at room temperature, which is highly reflective and designed to survey the strip of the sky passing overhead each night.
- The Devasthal observatory is equipped with the largest aperture telescope available in India that will use Big Data and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) algorithms to classify objects in the sky.
- The telescope has three components: A bowl containing a reflecting liquid mercury metal, an air bearing (or motor) on which the liquid mirror sits, and a drive system.
- The mercury is protected from the wind by a scientific grade thin transparent film of mylar.
- The reflected light passes through a sophisticated multi-lens optical corrector that produces sharp images over a wide field of view and a 4k CCD camera, located above the mirror at the focus, records 22 arc-minute wide strips of the sky.
- The data collected from the ILMT, over an operational time of 5 years, will be ideally suited to perform a deep photometric and astrometric variability survey.
- Maintained by the Aryabhata Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES).