Trip to the Vainu Bappu Observatory at Kavalur:
Pics From The First Batch's Visit To Kavalur
Located about 175 km south-east of Bangalore, and about 200 km south-west of Chennai,The Vainu Bappu Observatory (VBO) is the main optical observatory of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, and is located in the picturesque neighbourhood of the village of Kavalur in the state of Tamilnadu.
Latitude: 12° 34' Longitude: +78° 50' Altitude: ~700m
Commissioned in 1986, the Vainu Bappu Telescope is a National Facility is a 2.3 metre Telescope, which makes it the Largest Optical Telescope in Asia.Apart from this , there are other smaller Telescopes in the observatory namely the 1 m Zeiss Telescope,the 30 inch one and the 15 inch one.Apart from the Telescopes,there is also a Fabry-Perot Interferometer which is being used to study airglow emissions from the Earth's thermosphere.
we'll be going there by bus.The route is Bangalore-Vaniyambadi-Alangayam-Kavalur.Vaniyambadi is about 29 Km from VBO while Alangayam is 10Km away from the observatory.
We'll start from Platform 14A of the Inter-State Bus terminal , Majestic at 8:45 sharp , boarding a Tamilnadu transport bus to Vaniyambadi. From Vaniyambadi we take a bus to Alangayam and from there ,another bus to the Observatory at Kavalur.The whole journey is expected to be within 5 hrs.We reach the observatory and have lunch provided by the canteen there.Following lunch ,we'll be taken on aguided tour of various facilites of the observatory by the person in charge there.At night ,after dinner ,we'll be doing skywatching all night .One of the staff at the observatory is expected to show us some objects through the 6 inch telescope.Even otherwise, we are taking our Telescope there for observing the sky for the rest of the night....Accomodation has been provided in the guest rooms at the observatory.There are some interesting objects late into the night ( including a comet too !) and hence it is advised that you take short naps and drop in occasionally to the Skywatching session which will go on through the night !
We leave the observatory next morning after having breakfast and take the bus/es to Bangalore.
Some remarks about the visit:
1. The bus rates will come to within Rs 100 for the up and down trip and about Rs 50 for the food and accomodation which will be provided by the observatory.
2. Come equipped for the cold..accomodation is provided at the observatory itself.There is no need to bring bedding.
3. Food too is provided by the observatory.
4.Photography is allowed.we'll having a group photograph of ourselves in fact..
5.Have a torch with you.
6. Bring your star charts if you happen to have them.
7. In case someone wants to drop out of the trip, please inform me before Friday since we have to inform the observatory for the food arrangements ,going by the strength of the group.
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