Indian scientists develop tool to generate star catalogue for Thirty Meter Telescope

10 Jul 2024

Indian scientists develop tool to generate star catalogue for Thirty Meter Telescope
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Scientists at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) have developed a new, open source, tool to create a comprehensive star catalogue for the Adaptive Optics System (AOS) of the upcoming Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), a development that would enable the ground-based telescope generate sharper images of astronomical objects.

Telescopes with high light-collection capacities, like the TMT, are sensitive to upper atmospheric disturbances. TMT will be using the AOS to continuously sense and adjust for atmospheric changes to produce high-quality images. To facilitate this, an all-sky catalogue of NIR stars is essential.

The tool was developed by the India TMT Centre at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), which is spearheading the national collaboration.

Researchers at IIA Bengaluru and their collaborators developed an automated code that can be used as an online tool to create a catalogue of Near Infrared (NIR) stars.

The automated code can compute the expected near-infrared magnitudes of identified stellar sources using their optical magnitudes, achieving over 85 per cent accuracy in their NIR magnitude predictions, researchers said.

India is a key partner in this ground-based telescope, which is one of the largest to be operational in the next decade.

The Thirty Meter Telescope along with the Giant Magellan Telescope, and the European Southern Observatory’s Extremely Large Telescope would be operational over the next decade, giving a major boost to ground-based observations of the outer space. 

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