News & Events
USTM’s First Capture of an
Astronomical Event by Astronoscope-I
25th August, 2017, USTM : Astronomical events like solar
eclipse and lunar eclipse are very exciting natural events which
repeat after long duration. During a solar and a lunar eclipse
the sun and the moon, respectively disappears for few hours
partially or totally. People eagerly wait to witness such events
while scientist performs different experiments under the
condition of such eclipses. Seizing the opportunity of Lunar
Eclipse that occurred on 7th August 2017, visible from all the
parts of India, the Department of Physics at University of
Science and Technology, Meghalaya (USTM), had conducted a
scientific experimentation on Lunar Eclipse.
A group of M.Sc. Physics students, Mr. Mrinmoi K. Bora, Mr.
Ariful Alom, Mr. Rakesh G. Chetry and Mr. Ikbal Farid Ali have
developed USTM’s first optical telescope, “Astronoscope-I”
(Newtonian Reflector Type), under the supervision of Mr. Nitu
Borgohain, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics.
Astronoscope-I initially has the maximum magnification 450X,
which will be increased in the upgraded versions of this
telescope series. During the time of the eclipse students and
faculties of different departments gathered to witness the event
but due to heavy cloud the initial phases of the eclipse have
missed. After 5 hours of wait few windows of partially clear sky
for 2-3 minutes have been found, which were not to let go in
vain and finally, the lunar eclipse has been captured
successfully at 11:45PM.
How Astronoscope-I was made?
The major parts of Astronoscope-I are the Telescope Tube and the
Mount. The Telescope Tube contains a convex primary mirror of
aperture diameter 4.5 inch and focal length 900 mm at the bottom
end, an oval structured flat secondary mirror near the open tube
end and a focuser that holds the eyepieces mount outside the
tube, near the secondary mirror. These mirrors are bought from a
Mumbai based company which costs are around Rs. 5000 only. The
telescope tube is made from a 1 meter long PVC pipe of diameter
5.5 inch. The holder clamps of the tube are made from scrap iron
bars available in the RIST workshop. The mount that has been
developed is a modified Dobsonian type which suspends the
telescope with the help of nut-bolt. A scrap revolving chair is
used for this purpose where the seat has been replaced with a
plywood mount made by the students.
How Astronoscope-I works?
Light enters the open end of the tube, travels down to the
primary mirror. The focused image then reflects back to the
small secondary mirror which is placed at an angle of 450 with
the primary mirror. Secondary mirror reflects the image out
through the side of the tube to the eyepiece where it enlarged
Magnification power of Astronoscope-I:
Magnification power of this type of telescope is given by the
ratio of focal lengths of the primary mirror to the eyepieces.
We have 3 different eyepieces viz. 20 mm, 12 mm and 4 mm, for
which corresponding magnifications with a 2X Barlow lens are
90X, 150X and 450X (maximum). Thus with the help of Astronoscope-I,
any distant object in the night sky can be viewed maximum 450
times closer then they appear.
What Astronoscope-I can gaze in the night sky:
The whole universe could be viewed in the night sky. Moon is the
easiest target to find at night. The craters and mountains of
the moon can be studied in much details with Astronoscope-I.
Other planets of the solar system such as Venus, Mars, and
Jupiter can also be viewed. Rings of Saturn may be spectacular
to be observed too. Astronoscope-I also can be used for gazing
the galaxies, nebulae and star clusters abound in the deep sky
and study their formations.
Future Developments to Astronoscope-I:
Currently, Astronoscope-I has to be operated manually for
targeting an object in the sky. In the nearest future, this
discrepancy is to be removed with a digital orientation system.
A tuneable eyepiece system attached with a HD camera also to be
Department of Physics acknowledges the financial support from
Mr. M. Hoque, Chancellor, USTM.