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India joins project to build world's largest telescope

Indian Astronomical Observatory, Hanle.

NEW DELHI (PTI): India has decided to formally join a project to construct the world's largest telescope in the US for which a budget of Rs 700 crore has been sanctioned by the Department of Atomic Energy.

"India has already got the status of an observer in the project to construct the largest telescope of 30-metre aperture," said a senior official from the Earth Sciences Ministry.

The telescope will have the capability to focus sharply and collect data and pictures. Along with the US, Canada, Japan and China are members of the project and have started the early construction phase of the telescope, which is expected to be completed by 2019.

In 2010, India decided to join the project as an observer.

The telescope will be 10 times more powerful than the world's largest Hubble telescope and will be fitted with high powered optical spectrometer, infrared imaging spectrometer and infrared multi-object spectrometer.

Several Indian institutions such as Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics and Tata Institute of Fundamental Research will participate in the project.


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