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Spectrography-Aries Devasthal Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera (ADFOSC)

Spectrography-Aries Devasthal Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera (ADFOSC)


  • Indian Scientists have indigenously designed and developed a low-cost optical spectrograph that can locate sources of faint light from distant galaxies.

                                          Ministry of Science & Technology Indigenously designed and developed 'Made  in India' spectrograph, commissioned on Devasthal Optical Telescope, can  locate faint light from distant celestial objects Posted On: 03 MAR 2021  11:33AM by PIB Delhi Indian ...


  • Named as:  Aries-Devasthal Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera (ADFOSC).

  • Developed by: Aryabhatta Research Institute of observational sciences (ARIES).

    • It is based in Nainital.

    • It is an autonomous institute of Department of Science and Technology (DST).


  • The spectrograph is about 2.5 times less costly compared to the imported ones.

    • The total cost of this instrument is nearly Rs 4 Crore.

  • Largest in india: It is the largest of its kind among the existing astronomical spectrographs in the country.

  • Commissioned: On 3.6-m Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT), the largest in the country and in Asia, near Nainital in Uttarakhand.

  • It uses a complex arrangement of several lenses made of special glasses, polished to better than 5-nanometer smoothness to produce sharp images of the celestial sky.


  • It can locate sources of light with a photon-rate as low as about 1 photon per second.

  • Photons coming from distant celestial sources, collected by the telescope, are sorted into different colours by the spectrograph and are finally converted into electronic recordable signals using an in-house developed Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) camera.

  • It is cooled to an extremely low temperature of -120 degree celsius.

Spectroscopy | COSMOS

  • Use of spectrograph: To study

    • Distant quasars and galaxies in a very young universe,

    • Regions around supermassive black-holes around the galaxies,

    • Cosmic explosions like supernovae and highly energetic gamma-ray bursts, young and massive stars, and faint dwarf galaxies.

  • Aatmanirbhar in astronomy: “The indigenous efforts to build complex instruments like ADFOSC in India is an important step to become ‘Aatmanirbhar’ in the field of astronomy & astrophysics,”  

  • Future Plans: With this expertise, ARIES now plans to commission more complex instruments such as spectro-polarimeter and high spectral resolution spectrograph on the 3.6-m Devasthal telescope in the near future.