Solar Observatory Udaipur
Wink at the Sun at the Solar Observatory in Udaipur
Have you ever tried looking at the sun for a long time? Has the sunlight turned your vision blind for some time with its scorch? On your next trip to Rajasthan, look into the sun and don’t let its flames compel you to blink. Udaipur is not just about the adventurous camel ride or the shopping spree of lehenga choli or the royal tour of the majestic city palace. The solar observatory of Udaipur is a magnificent structure that has impressed tourists from across the globe for a little less than four decades. This has already attached the feather in its hat for being the best solar observatory in Asia. It was built by a scientist named Dr. Arvind Bhatnagar in the year 1975. Dr. Ashok Ambastha in 1983 joined Dr. Bhatnagar and they jointly from then onwards looked after the proper functioning of the observatory.
On your next visit to Udaipur don’t give the solar observatory a miss. Through the telescope you can go close to the red ball of fire. There are some places in the world where you can defy the sun’s power and this is one of them.
38 years of Sunrise and Sunset: The Journey of the Udaipur Solar Observatory
The Solar Observatory of Udaipur has seen 38 years of sunrise and sunset and it is a replica of South California’s Big Bear Lake Solar Observatory. It was established by scientist Dr. Arvind Bhatnagar under the Vedhshala Trust of Ahmadabad in 1975. The instrument Solar Vector Magnetograph is being installed in the observatory soon. The solar magnetism can be determined with the help of this instrument.
Through the last 38 years the Solar Observatory of Udaipur has taken up many initiatives up its sleeve. It has taken active part in international collaboration programmes such as Global Oscillation Network Group (GONG). The Udaipur Solar Observatory has plugged the longitudinal distance between Spain and Australia.
Physical Research Laboratory of Ahmadabad since 1981 looks after the observatory’s operations and this is for the Department of Space. Udaipur Solar Observatory is one of the six observatories in the entire world that monitors the sun 24 x 7. USA’s National Science Foundation has given sponsors for the GONG project. This project aims at observing the vacillation of the solar atmosphere.
If you are a student of astronomy you would understand what solar physics is. Udaipur Solar Observatory is the perfect place in India as reviewed by the scientists for the development of the solar physics study.
There are both India nationals as well as foreign tourists who flock around to get a chance to see the sun through the telescope. There are different kinds of telescopes and the people on duty would guide you through as to which telescope will be apt for you.
Location of the Solar Observatory in Udaipur City
The main office administrative building and the observatory are at different places. You will find the Solar Observatory in the middle of the Fateh Sagar Lake. The administrative building is situated at the junction of Rani Road and Bari Road in the north-west of the observatory. The best thing about the solar observatory in Udaipur is that it is situated on an island. When you visit this place you have to reach the observatory by a boat.
How to Reach the Fateh Sagar Lake
There are ample of buses and hired cans available for reaching Udaipur. There are regular bus service and even trains for reaching the Udaipur city and then you can find out the Fateh Sagar Lake. The most recent report says that the lake is filled to the brim so you need to hire a boat to reach the observatory. There are in total three islands in the Fateh Sagar Lake. The Udaipur Solar Observatory is one of the most visited observatories of the world and very few solar observatories that are situated on an island.
Do keep a check if you have to collect a ticket from the counter. You don’t need a local guide here as everything inside comes with an instruction. There are experts inside the observatory.
Why is Fateh Sagar Lake Area Best Suitable for Constructing a Solar Observatory?
You must be wondering why a lake is always the best area for observing the sun. Fateh Sagar Lake is a vast water body. When you look through the telescope, this vastness reduces the temperature of the surface strata. This in turn reduces the commotion in the air mass. As a result the image quality improves and you can have a better vision of the observation. You have to have a basic knowledge about the chromo-spherical and photo-spherical activities of the sun. The wide surface of the lake helps to minimise the heating of the air around the place.
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