MAST: India’s largest telescope inaugurated at Udaipur Solar Observatory

The Multi-Application Solar Telescope (MAST), also touted as the biggest solar telescope of India was inaugurated at the Udaipur Solar Observatory on August 4, 2015.

The Udaipur Solar Observatory (USO) is among the six Global Oscillations Network Group sites in the world.

Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmadabad’s chairman, Proffesor UR Rao was present at the inauguration, adding that MAST will be immensely helpful in studying movements of stars and sun even during the day.

MAST has been authorized by Ministry of Science and Technology and funded by Department of Space.

According to reports, a total of Rs. 26 crores has been spent on the project, and from now on, Physical Research Laboratory of Ahmadabad will take care of MAST.

MAST could help in studying about planetary movements and will be capable of providing 3-D images of varied solar activities, including solar blasts and solar flares.

Given that water surrounds the Udaipur Solar Observatory, the telescope was installed there as the temperature is expected to remain pleasant.

Also, the site gets more than 250 days of continuous sunshine, which is excellent for observing the sun correctly for the day time.

MAST was designed in 2004, as an axis Gregorian-Coude telescope with an aperture of 50 cm. Recently, a particular dome made of tensile fabric was added to cover the telescope.

Apart from these facts, the backend instruments of MAST include narrow band imaging polarimeter, LCVR polarimetric module and adaptive optics system.

ISRO has offered a spectropolarimeter, which will also be added later.