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Scientific Rationale


Our current understanding of the Universe depends not only on the continuous growth of observational facilities but also on the number of people utilising the data generated from these facilities. In recent times several big observational facilities (bigger than the existing Very Large Telescope (VLT), Keck, Gemini) are planned and will be operational in future. The 3.6m Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT) located in Devasthal, ARIES, Nainital is the largest optical telescope in the country. The 4.0m International Liquid Mirror Telescope (ILMT) achieved the first light in April 2022 and will be the first dedicated survey telescope in the country at optical wavelengths. This survey will result in the detection of a number of new transient sources such as supernovae and other faint objects such as quasars and galaxies. At high energy ranges (X-ray and gamma-ray) space missions such as XMM-Newton, Chandra, Integral, RXTE, Swift, Suzaku, Fermi, AstroSat are currently operational. Similarly in radio/mm bands excellent observational facilities such as ATCA, ALMA, JVLA, VLBI, e-MERLIN, uGMRT have been operational. uGMRT in India is the world’s largest radio telescope at meter wavelengths. With several operational and upcoming facilities in different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, huge volumes of data will be generated which clearly indicates the need for more researchers to exploit the data.

In this context, ARIES organises an annual training program in observational astronomy to provide young Indian students with the necessary platform to develop expertise/skills in astronomical data analysis in optical wavelengths.