• India
  • Apr 03

Kodaikanal Solar Observatory celebrates its 125th anniversary

The 125th anniversary of Kodaikanal Solar Observatory (KSO) was celebrated on April 1.

Kodaikanal Solar Observatory

• The story of the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory starts with a severe famine that affected the then Madras Presidency in the early 1890s. 

• A solar observatory was decided to be set up in order to obtain more data on how the Sun heats up Earth’s atmosphere and to understand monsoon patterns. 

• Kodaikanal was chosen as the location for its proximity to the equator and its dust-free, high-altitude location. 

• Kodaikanal Solar Observatory was established on April 1 1899.

• The observatory was established as a Solar Physics Observatory on the Palani Hills. 

• All activities of the Madras Observatory were shifted to Kodaikanal.

• It is currently operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, 

• The observatory has made some key discoveries instrumental in understanding the Sun and its effects on the Earth’s surface. 

• The ‘Evershed Effect’ (radial motions in sunspots), named after the British astronomer John Evershed was first discovered at this observatory in 1909. 

• The observatory boasts the oldest continuous series of solar data collected in India.

• The KSO houses a digital repository of 1.2 lakh digitised solar images and thousands of other images of the Sun recorded every day for over a century.

• This unique database has been digitised and is publicly available for astronomers from across the globe.

• KSO is operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DST).

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