Director's Message

About ARIES >> Director's Message

The legacy of the institute goes back to more than fifty years, first as a state observatory under Uttar Pradesh and now as an autonomous institute under the administrative control of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India. The main research fields of ARIES include Astrophysics and Atmospheric Studies. ARIES has made unique contribution in many areas of astronomical research, particularly those involving time critical phenomena owing to its location almost in the middle of about 180 degree wide longitude band with no other modern astronomical facilities.

ARIES is installing India’s largest telescope at an altitude of 2540m in a place called Devasthal. It is located about 50 km by road towards east of Nainital. The telescope will be operational by 2012. The telescope sizes are referred by their primary mirror aperture sizes. The Devasthal Optical Telescope (DOT) will have an aperture of 3.6-m. This telescope is constructed using several new technologies making it light weight and cost effective than a similar “classical” telescope. The altitude of 2540m of the Devasthal makes it one of the most promising high-altitude sites in India. The Devasthal site offers excellent dark skies (darkness per square arc sec sky, V~21.8 mag) due to the lack of large scale human settlements. With the inclusions of new technologies in the 3.6-m DOT, e.g., the active optics and a new design for the telescope enclosure to reduce the blurring of the images due to the thermal gradient inside it, combined with a good site at Devasthal, astronomers in India will get a highly efficient telescope by the year 2012 to carry out exciting research in various fields of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

I invite, especially, the younger generation to take up Astronomy & Astrophysics and Atmospheric Studies as their career. Hope the information provided here will motivate you.