Hyderabad’s Birla observatory to open for public

November 15th, 2011 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Nov 15 (IANS) The G.P. Birla Observatory and Astronomical Research Centre, described as India’s best amateur observatory, is all set to open for public from Thursday.

The observatory at Birla Science Centre has been set up by Nirmala Birla, the wife of the late industrialist, and the family as part of their vision to promote awareness and education in science and astronomy.

Built at a cost of more than Rs.200 million, the five-storey observatory, with a built-up area of 65,000 square feet, has come up at the sprawling Birla Science Centre, which houses a planetarium, a science museum, a dinosarium and art and archaeological galleries, Nirmala Birla told reporters Tuesday.

The observatory enables enthusiasts to further their interest in research, study the wonders of the sky and witness the astronomical world from close quarters, she said.

The observatory is equipped with ultra modern C-11 telescope and matches the capabilities of the best of professional observatories. The sophisticated and compact German telescope can be used to view celestial activity hundreds of light years away. It is also capable of detecting exoplanets that are outside the Solar System.

Birla Science Centre chief B.G. Sidharth said the telescope can track, capture and project images on a screen for public viewing.

Uranoscope De France, a Paris-based NGO, has collaborated with Birla Science Centre in setting up the observatory.

The centre plans to conduct various activities like seminars, lectures and other events both in Hyderabad and Paris, said Sidharth.

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