Situated adjacent to the picturesque hill town of Nainital, ARIES ( an acronym of Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences ) is one of the leading research Institutes which specializes in observational Astronomy & Astrophysics and Atmospheric Sciences. The main research interests of Astronomy & Astrophysics division are in solar, planetary, stellar, galactic and extra-galactic astronomy including stellar variabilities, X-ray binaries, star clusters, nearby galaxies, quasars, and inherently transient events like supernovae and highly energetic gammaray bursts.Research focus in Atmospheric Sciences division is mainly in the lower part of the atmosphere and covers the studies on aerosols and trace gases.Moreover, to strengthen the scientific contribution
The Institute has extended its horizon to theoretical and numerical studies in Relativistic Astrophysics. The unique position of ARIES (79° East), places it at almost in the middle of 180° wide longitude band, between Canary Island (20° West) and Eastern Australia (157° East), and therefore complements observations which might not be possible from either of these two places. ARIES has made unique contribution from time to time. To quote examples from the past the first successful Indian optical observations of the afterglow of gamma-ray burst was carried out from ARIES on January 23, 1999, a few micro-lensing events and quasar variability, new ring systems around Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune were also discovered.
The Institute hosts three telescopes of apertures 104-cm, 130-cm and 3.6-mDOT. There is a 15-cm telescopes dedicated for solar observations. The 104-cm optical telescope is being used as a main observing facility by the ARIES scientists since 1972. It is equipped with 2k x 2k, and 1k x 1k liquid N cooled CCD cameras, fast photometer, spectrophotometer, and standard astronomical 2 filters. The telescope uses a SBIG ST-4 camera for auto-guiding through an auxiliary 20-cm telescope.