India has got its biggest Multi-Application Solar Telescope (MAST) which was recently inaugurated at the Udaipur Solar Observatory by Prof UR Rao, the chairman of the governing council of the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, reports Hindustan Times.
The 26 crore project funded by the Department of Space will provide 3-D images of solar activities like solar blast and solar flares, and will help in vital studies about other planetary movements. The Physical Research Laboratory of Ahmedabad will take care of the project.
MAST (pronounced maa-ast), which has a lens of 50 centimetre diameter, is developed on the basis of mechanical and optical system of Belgium. Prof UR Rao said:
“MAST would help in the study of movements of stars and sun even in day time. With the help of this device, researchers can achieve new heights internationally in the study of sun and related components.”
MAST, designed in 2004, had optical elements added to in 2008. It was installed at the Udaipur Solar Observatory in 2012 because it is surrounded by water, which keeps the temperature pleasant.
Also, the site can boast of more than 250 days of continuous sunshine, which helps in a better observation of the sun during day time.