UPSC Current Affairs

International Liquid Mirror Telescope (ILMT)


International Liquid Mirror Telescope (ILMT)

  • The Four-metre International Liquid Mirror Telescope (ILMT) saw the first light recently, gazing out from its vantage on Devasthal, a hill in Uttarakhand, into the deep sky.
  • The telescope will make sky surveys possible and obtain images that can help observe transient phenomena such as supernovae and record the presence of space debris or meteorites.
  • The telescope has been built by a collaboration of scientists from Canada, Belgium and India.
  • The major instrumentation funding was jointly provided by Canada and Belgium while India will be responsible for the operations and upkeep of the telescope.
  • The telescope is located at an altitude of 2,450 metres at the Devasthal Observatory campus of the Aryabhata Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) in Nainital district, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
  • The ILMT is a large pool of mercury placed in a vessel, spun around so fast that it curves into a parabolic shape.

    ILMT - Ekam IAS
  • Since mercury is reflective, this shape helps in focusing the reflected light.
  • A thin sheet of mylar protects the mercury from the wind.
  • The International Liquid Mirror Telescope (ILMT) is the only liquid-mirror telescope operational anywhere in the world.
  • It will also hold the unique tag of being the maiden liquid-telescope globally to be designed exclusively for astronomical purposes.
  • Unlike the conventional telescopes that can be steered to track specific stellar source objects, the ILMT will be stationary.
  • It will carry out observations and imaging at the zenith, that is, of the overhead sky.
  • This is a survey telescope having high potential for discovering newer objects.
  • ILMT will be the third telescope to be operating from Devasthal after the 3.6-metre Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT) — the largest in India commissioned in 2016 — and the 1.3-metre Devasthal Fast Optical Telescope (DFOT) inaugurated in 2010.
Model Question :

With reference to the International Liquid Mirror Telescope (ILMT), recently seen in news, which of the following statements are correct?

  1. The International Liquid Mirror Telescope (ILMT) is the only liquid-mirror telescope operational in the world.
  2. The telescope was a joint collaboration of scientists from Canada, USA and India.
  3. The ILMT is located at the Devasthal Observatory of the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES).

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer : C

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