For scientific-minded people, particularly those who love astronomy, Udaipur is the best place to visit if you want to witness high-resolution solar images. The Udaipur Solar Observatory (USO) is strategically installed here. It is known as the prime site for acquiring good solar images due to its secluded location with clear waters below and clear skies above.
Distinguished as the best solar observatory in Asia, the Udaipur Solar Observatory is located on an island in the middle of Fateh Sagar Lake. Its main office building can be found at the northwest shore close to the Bari Road-Rani Road junction. This research site is managed by the Physical Research Lab in Ahemdabad.
Due to the large body of water surrounding the island, the atmosphere above it stays relatively stable even during daytime. This attribute is necessary when acquiring sharp images of the Sun. An added advantage of this observatory is that it is located in Rajasthan.
The sky conditions here seem favorable for solar observations. As there is little rainfall, about 20 inches per year on average, and continuous stretch of cloud-free days, it’s possible to watch the Sun almost 240 days a year in USO. Besides its perfect location, the air turbulence on the island is lesser than on ground, and as such, one can acquire sharp images. These attributes make it as Asia’s best solar observing site.
The USO was built after the solar observatory found at Big Bear Lake in Southern California. It was originally built in the year 1976 by Dr. Arvind Bhatnagar. Shortly, Dr. Ashok Ambastha joined him in 1983 and subsequently by other scientists who have contributed further development.
The Udaipur Solar Observatory has earned the reputation of being the leading center of solar research, both local and abroad. It has wide variety of telescopes to get the best images of solar atmosphere. Until now, the management is further improving their instruments and one of these is the Solar Vector Magnetograh.
High-resolution devices for magnetic field, solar chromospheres, spectral and velocity observations are also present in the lab. These equipments allow studies pertaining to mass ejections, solar flares and the evolution of active regions.
USO has seen the entire solar cycle for the past three decades of its subsistence. Because of the observatory’s superb site quality, it was included among the six observatories around the world to monitor the Sun 24 hours under GONG project. Such project, funded by the National Science Foundation of USA, aspires to study the oscillations in the Sun’s atmosphere. This will help us understand the interior of the Sun, which is something that cannot be observed directly.
The main purpose of USO in acquiring the temporal resolution and high spatial observations of the Sun’s chromospheric and photospheric activity is to learn and understand the different dynamic phenomena that are occurring on the Sun’s surface.
To visit this place, you can take a boat ride to reach the Udaipur Solar Observatory. Besides USO, you can also visit the other two islands in Fateh Sagar, the Nehru Garden and another public park by the Government of Rajasthan. You can also rent a motor boat or a paddle from the bottom of Moti Magra hill.