Timings : 1st April - 15th June: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Rest of the year: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Open only on Fridays)
Time Required : 2-3 hrs
Entry Fee : No entry fee
Located at the southern tip of the beautiful Palani Hills, the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory was established in 1899 and is owned and operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. Its longitudinal position makes it a unique site for the study of solar behaviour. The scientific abode also houses the most extensive collection of solar data, dating way back to the 19th century. Its unique geography makes the spot particularly ideal for accurate cosmic observations (especially related to the sun).
Currently, their full-time team consists of two scientists and nineteen technicians, with equipment such as the high frequency Doppler (for measuring a wave motion phenomenon known as the Doppler Effect), a broadband seismograph (an instrument used to detect seismic waves emerging from the Earth), a Watson magnetometer, and the solar tunnel telescope among many others.
In January 1909, an important solar phenomenon known as the Evershed effect was first discovered from the data collected at this observatory. The pioneer behind this discovery - John Evershed - thus propelled the status of the Kodaikanal Solar Observatory as a premier solar physics lab in the country. Such was the comprehensiveness of his study in the motion of sunspots that there was little added to the topic for at least a century.
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