Topic of the Day – GROWTH India telescope

UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH)-India telescope

India’s first robotic telescope – Global Relay of Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH)-India, began its operation at the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO) in Hanule in Ladakh.


  • It is a fully robotic telescope which has been funded by the Science and Engineering Board (SERB) of the Department of Science and Technology.
  • It is a 70cm telescope and the primary objective of the project is the time domain astronomy.
  • It is mostly an imaging telescope and the spectroscopy (analysis) will happen at Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT).
  • It will be remotely operated from IIA’s Centre for Research and Education in Science and Technology near Bangalore.
  • The facility also houses the control room for remote operations of the Himalayan Chandra Telescope and is the data hub of the telescope.
  • The first targets for the telescope were chosen from the Messier catalogue (a catalogue of nearby, bright astronomical sources accessible from the northern hemisphere) which allowed various image quality tests.

GROWTH Initiative

  • It is a part of the multi-country collaborative initiative known as Global Relay Observatories Watching Transients Happen (GROWTH) to observe transient events in the universe.
  • The initiative will focus on three scientific themes in the field of time-domain astronomy – cosmic explosions (supernova), small near-earth asteroids and the electromagnetic identification of gravitational wave sources.
  • It is a fully robotic optical research telescope which has been designed to capture cosmic events occurring in timescales much shorter than light years like years, days and even hours.

Parties to the initiative:

United States of America, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, India, Taiwan, and Israel are part of the initiatives

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