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Kodaikanal Solar Observatory completes 125 years of solar studies

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 03-04-2024
Kodaikanal Solar Observatory completes 125 years of solar studies Space 4 min read

The Department of Science & Technology (DST), Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) celebrated the 125th anniversary of Kodaikanal Solar Observatory (KSO) on 1 April 2024.

  • On this occasion, A.S. Kiran Kumar, Chairman, Governing Council of IIA, unveiled the 125th anniversary logo of KSO for the anniversary celebrations. Also released a booklet detailing the history and research achievements of the observatory.
  • A. S. Kiran Kumar has also previously been the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
  • It has been a great achievement for astronomy in India to felicitate the scientists of IIA and honour its legacy.
  • KSO has a repository of 1.2 lakh digital solar images recorded every day since the beginning of the 20th century. It also has a digital repository of thousands of other images of the Sun.

Highlights of the event:

  • Established by the British on 1 April 1899, the observatory has one of the longest continuous daily records of the Sun in the world. Also this unique database has been digitalized. This database is now publicly available to astronomers around the world.
  • At the beginning of these celebrations, the observatory has a rich history dating back to the year IIA established it in Madras in 1792. A number of events are planned in the coming months to highlight its diverse achievements and its ongoing research.
  • Kodaikanal Solar Observatory (KSO) is currently functioning as a field station under the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA). IIA is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology.
  • Presently the Director of IIA is Prof. Annapurni Subramaniam. The pursuit of knowledge over more than a century has required constant innovation through several generations of technology. There is also transfer of skills through generations of scientists.

About Kodaikanal Solar Observatory:

  • 1 April is also celebrated by IIA as its foundation day. It was established on 1 April 1971 as an institute under the Department of Science and Technology. The Foundation Day Lecture for the year 2024 was delivered by AS Kiran Kumar from Kodaikanal, in which he discussed the "Indian Space Programme".

Achievements of Kodaikanal Solar Observatory (KSO):

  • KSO has been used by scientists to study the Sun from Indian soil for more than a century and a half. Prominent among its achievements are the following:
    • Helpful in understanding the sun
    • To study eclipses
    • To discover helium in the year 1868
    • Understanding Plasma Processes in the Sun
    • It has been helpful in understanding its expansion, prominence and shine.
  • Visible emission line coronagraph on the recently launched Aditya-L-1, assembled into the crest of IIA.
  • The proposed National Large Solar Telescope in Ladakh, led by IIA, is taking forward this rich legacy.


Answer: Kodaikanal Solar Observatory (KSO)

Answer: Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA)

Answer: AS Kiran Kumar, Chairman of the Governing Council of IIA
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