Indian astronomers worked closely with Nobel Laureate Andrea Ghez on TMT project: DST

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New Delhi, Nov 10 (PTI) Indian astronomers had worked closely with Nobel Laureate Andrea Ghez on the design of back-end instruments and possible science prospects of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project being installed at Mauna Kea in Hawaii, the DST said on Tuesday. The TMT project can revolutionise the understanding of the universe and the enigmas in it.

Ghez has won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics.

'Besides, Prof. Ghez's remarkable contribution in the discovery of a super massive compact object at the centre of our galaxy along with Prof. Roger Penrose and Prof. Reinhard Genzel for which they shared the Nobel Prize in Physics, she was deeply involved in the development of the related instrumentation and possible science prospects for the TMT, the next-generation observatory,' the Department of Science and Technology (DST) said.

She was part of the team working towards evaluating possible front-line science cases and instrumentation for TMT utilising associated front-line cutting edge technologies like adaptive optics, it added.

The TMT project is an international partnership between CalTech, Universities of California, Canada, Japan, China, and India; through the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

Some of the Indian astronomers like Annapurni Subramanium, Director of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) and Shashi Bhushan Pandey, a scientist at Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), along with many others collaborated with Ghez in the ongoing research and developmental activities of the TMT project.

It had resulted in two significant papers, among many others, it said.

'The Thirty Meter Telescope, which seeks to advance scientific knowledge while fostering connection among the partner countries and their citizens, and in which Indian astronomers worked closely with Prof Ghez, is expected to provide facilities with even greater capabilities to gather the observations needed to answer new and emerging questions in astronomy and physics in general,' the DST added. PTI PR KJ