Rohan Murthy, son of Infosys founder NR Narayan Murthy, who is investor in SKS Microfinance through his investment fund called Catamaran has pledged to give $1 million to a Robo Astronomy Project which was unsponsored previously. Not only that, project head requested people for without pay voluntary work as the project was short of funds. After the sponsorship, Rohan also brought this project to Pune, India.
The project was initially started at California Institute of Technology, better known as Caltech and is now being hosted at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, where it will help a 2.1-meter telescope make new discoveries.
The “world’s only robotic laser adaptive optics system” works basically on the concept of eliminating the blurring effect provided by the earth’s atmosphere and enables the researchers to view the solar system more clearly. The project was initially started by the Caltech Optical Observatories and the Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) in Pune three years ago.
Caltech said that the research was facing the shortage of budget and they went to many companies for the fundings and even hired observers that were ready to work for free in the observatory’s 2.1-meter telescope before Murty peeked in and helped them financially in making their dream come true.
While commenting on the such a huge investment, Murthy said that robotics is the thing of future and the project can do wonders in the field of astronomy which eventually will benefit mankind. “Automating the discovery of the universe impacts one of mankind’s oldest activities: to look up at the heavens and wonder about our place in the universe.” He further added to the statement “This activity has been the source of inspiration for religion, poetry, literature, science, and culture in general. Hence, I am pleased to support a dedicated telescopic facility for Robo-AO, which will serve as a new frontier for what computer science can do for astronomy and for mankind, in general,” said Murthy.