Department of Astronomy

Department of Astronomy

About the Department

Department of Astronomy is the only department in India which offers Astronomy & Astrophysics courses at masterís level and it is the only university department with an observatory with a 1.2 m telescope. The department offers a two-year M. Sc. course in Astronomy, an interdisciplinary M.Sc programme in Astrophysics in collaboration with Physics department and a Ph. D. programme.

The history of the Astronomy Department at Osmania University takes back to the early part of 20th Century and had its roots from the establishment of Nizamiah Observatory at Begumpet in 1908 with the installation of two telescopes, one 8-inch Cooke Astrograph or Astro-camera and an 15-inch Grubb Refractor. Based on the academic contributions of Nizamiah Observatory and its International recognition, Osmania University created the Department of Astronomy in 1959. Astronomy at post-graduate level was introduced in 1960 -61. The Department was recognized as the Centre of Advanced Study in Astronomy (CASA) by the UGC during 1964-79. The department, till date, has produced more than 500 M.Sc. students, 20 M.Phil. degrees and 45 Ph.D.ís. A good fraction of the students (~45%) choose career options in astronomy in India and abroad, while the others teach physics and computer sciences in colleges.

The 48- inches telescope at Rangapurwas used for photoelectric observations of binary stars, peculiar stars, pulsating stars, star clusters and also for the spectroscopic study of binary stars and peculiar stars. The telescope was also used for obtaining scientific information on comets, planetary atmospheres and Near Earth Asteroids. The department obtained two 12-inch telescopes from the UGC-SAP funds. These telescopes are being used by the students and research scholars for their practicals and research projects respectively.

In addition, a 10 Ė feet radio telescope operating at 10GHz was installed at Japal-Rangapur Observatory in 1980 for conducting research on the Sun. Also a 100 - CW meteor radar operating at a frequency of 50 MHz was installed in 1982 to study meteor echoes from various meteor showers over Hyderabad. Research on satellite radio beacon studies of ionosphere over Hyderabad using transmissions from satellites was initiated to study electron density variations and scintillations etc.

The department regularly organizes workshops and seminars with financial assistance from DST, ISRO, UGC, IUCAA etc. The academic staff concentrates on research in observational astronomy of binary stars, black holes, neutron stars, white dwarfs, pulsating stars, galactic clusters, Ionospheric research and celestial mechanics study on problems related to colliding and interacting galaxies using analytical methods and N-body simulations. Studies of comets, meteor showers, eclipses etc. are regularly undertaken whenever such events occur. The department regularly conducts public events and sky shows when eclipses, meteor showers etc occur.

Collaborative Programmes

The academic staff has collaborative research programs with other leading scientific organization like Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai; Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL), Gadanki, near Tirupati andAryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital. Currently the observational data for the research activity is being obtained using VainuBappu telescope, Himalaya Chandra telescope, MST radar Gadanki, SKiYMET radar, Trivandrum.