World’s Largest Solar Telescope Planned at Ladakh

Home » Information Desk » Current News » World’s Largest Solar Telescope Planned at Ladakh


The Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), has zeroed in on Ladakh as the probable destination for the world’s largest solar telescope. Work is likely to begin by the end of this year.

The 2-metre class state-of-the-art National Large Solar Telescope built by IIA at an expected cost of Rs 150 crore is planned for completion in 2017.

According to SS Hasan, former director, IIA, the organisation had initially zeroed-in on three sites – Hanle and Merak near Ladakh’s Pangong Lake or Devasthal near Nainital in Uttarakhand.

The proposed telescope, which will be used to observe the Sun during the day needs long hours of sunshine and clear visibility conditions.

“It took us over four years to finalise the site. We hope to complete the project by 2017,” Hasan told reporters on the sidelines of the plenary session of the 100th Indian Science Congress.

The device will help Indian scientists carry out “cutting edge research” aimed at studying the Sun’s atmosphere.

Hasan said further, the back-end instrument will be constructed in India while night-time instruments will come from Germany. Apart from the IIA, which is the nodal agency, the other institutes involved in the project include Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and Inter-University Centre.

Currently, the world’s largest solar telescope is the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope having a diameter of 1.6 metres. It is located in Kitt Peak National Observatory at Arizona in the US.



The Hindu Business Line , January 07, 2013