In and Out of the Observatory

  

  The observatory hill is part of the Sahyadri range (western ghats) which extend all along the western coastline of the Indian peninsula. Girawali village, right where you leave the Ghodegaon-Junnar road to start climbing the 6km road up the hill, is the nearest inhabited place. The perennial Ghod river meanders through the valley at the base of the hill; Ghodegaon on its banks is the nearest town where one can find everything from grocery to doctor. The historic Junnar town is about 25km away, while the pilgrim centre Bhimashankar is about 50km from the observatory. The Giant Metre Radio Telescope Centre at Khodad is on the other side of the Pune-Nasik highway and is about an hour's drive by road.

Observers are encouraged to report at IUCAA′s Pune campus. To and fro transport between IUCAA and the observatory is provided. Usually, the shuttle leaves the observatory around 1130hrs and starts its return trip from IUCAA around 1430hrs. The drive lasts a little over two hours typically. Arrangements for food and accommodation for the observers are made at the observatory. However, if you have any special requirements, please inform samuel@iucaa.ernet.in well in advance.

During October, March, April and May, the day time temperature can go well above 30°C, while that at night could be 20°C. During peak winter (December, January) the day time temperature could hover around 20°C, while at night it could drop to 10°C. The following table summarizes the astronomical performance of the site from a survey which was conducted between November 1996 to April 1997 as well as the science verification observations during January to May 2006.

 

Parameter

Value

Location

19° 5′ N; 73° 40′ E

Altitude

~1005m above MSL

Typical Seeing FWHM

1.3 to 1.4 arcseconds

 

B

V

R

I

Atmospheric Extinction (mag./airmass)

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

Sky Brightness (mag./sq. arcsecond)

20.8

20.4

19.5

19.2

No. of nights expected

About 180 per year

Sky Quality

50% photometric, 80% spectroscopic

Month

Nights Recorded

Photometric

Spectroscopic

Nov. 1996

26

14

23

Dec. 1996

12

4

8

Jan. 1997

20

14

16

Feb. 1997

21

21

21

Mar. 1997

26

9

16

Apr. 1997

24

5

20

Total

129

67

104

The observatory hill is technically a "reserved forest" and sighting wild animals, including leopards have been reported, especially during the summer months. Please do not venture outside the fenced campus alone after dark fall. Make sure that you inform the security person at the gate whenever you go out of the campus and return. Mobile phone connections of only some of the service providers work in and around the hill. The campus has several WLL phone connections as well as satellite network internet connection.

 

 

 

 Links

 

 

 

 

 

 

BACK TO TOP