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|About||Indian Institute of Astrophysics located in Bengaluru, India, is a premier institute devoted to research in astronomy, astrophysics & related physics.|
The Indian Institute of Astrophysics traces its origin to William Petrie, an enlightened officer of the East India Company, who in 1786 began observations of the meridian transit of stars from Madras, mainly for maritime purposes. This in a short period of ten years, blossomed into the Madras Observatory. The Madras Observatory, especially under the leadership of N.R. Pogson, made tremendous progress, diversifying its focus to the astronomical studies of planets, asteroids, the sun, solar eclipses and variable stars. Teams from the Observatory were among the first to observe the Helium line at the solar eclipse in 1868, visible from Guntur in South India. Around the end of the 19th century, the Madras Observatory was shifted to Kodaikanal.
The Kodaikanal Observatory became famous in
its own right with pioneering contributions such
as the Evershed Effect discovered in 1909. The
work at Kodaikanal continues without any break
even today and the observatory holds an archive of spectroheliograms which are recorded daily.
In 1971, the organization became an autonomous academic institution devoted to astronomy, astrophysics and allied topics, under the directorship of Professor M.K.Vainu Bappu. It is now a premier Institute in the country specialized in Astrophysics and it is fully funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India.
Several new major facilities have been added
during the last four and half decades. They include: the 2.34 m Vainu Bappu Telescope (VBT) at Kavalur, the 2-m Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) at Hanle and the Radio Heliograph at Gauribidanur. Recent initiatives at Hanle include: commissioning of a High Altitude Gamma Ray (HAGAR) telescope array and setting up of a Major Atmospheric Cerenkov Experiment (MACE) telescope by BARC jointly with TIFR and IIA. A 1.3 m telescope named after Prof. J. C. Bhattacharyya was installed at Kavalur and commissioned in 2014. The Ultra-Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) system, develope