The India connection to Nobel Laureate Andrea Ghez's work on the Thirty Meter Telescope
The Thirty Meter Telescope will be three times as wide, with nine times more area, than the largest currently existing visible-light telescope in the world.
2020 Physics Nobel Laureate Prof. Andrea Ghez had worked closely with Indian astronomers on the design of back-end instruments and possible science prospects of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project. The project is coming up at Maunakea in Hawaii.
The Thirty Meter Telescope has been described as a new class of extremely large telescopes that will allow astronomers to see deeper into space and observe cosmic objects with unprecedented sensitivity. The project can revolutionize the understanding of the universe and the enigmas in it, the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a statement outlining the role of Indian astronomers in developing the TMT.
The TMT project is an international partnership between CalTech, Universities of California, Canada, Japan, China, and India; through the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).
Indian astronomers like Dr. Annapurni Subramanium, Director of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) and Dr. Shashi Bhushan Pandey, a scientist at Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) were among those who collaborated with Prof. Ghez in the ongoing research and developmental activities of the TMT project.
This collaboration had led to the publication of two significant papers on the project including one by the SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, in 2016. Another collaborative publication, in the journal Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics in 2016, included many other Indian astronomers as a part of a larger team along with Prof. Ghez, the statement said.
With its prime mirror having a diameter of 30 m, the TMT will be three times as wide, with nine times more area, than the largest currently existing visible-light telescope in the world.
According to the ministry, Prof. Ghez was deeply involved in the development of the related instrumentation and possible science prospects for the TMT, the next-generation observatory. She was part of the team working towards evaluating possible front-line science cases and instrumentation for TMT utilizing associated front-line cutting edge technologies like adaptive optics.
Prof. Ghez shared the 2020 Nobel Prize along with Prof. Roger Penrose and Prof. Reinhard Genzel for remarkable contribution in the discovery of a super massive compact object at the center of our Galaxy.