New initiatives in optical astronomy at ARIES

Ram Sagar*, Brijesh Kumar , Amitesh Omar and Anil K. Pandey
Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences, Manora Peak, Nainital 263 129, India

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The Institute is establishing a 3.6-m new technology modern optical telescope at Devasthal. This telescope will have instruments providing high resolution spectral and seeing-limited imaging capabilities at visible and near-infrared bands. In addition to optical studies of a wide variety of astronomical topics, it will be used for follow-up studies of sources identified in the radio region by GMRT and UV/X-ray by ASTROSAT. A few other facilities with very specific goals are also being established. These are 1.3-m optical telescope to monitor optically variable sources, a 0.5-m wide field (25 square degrees) Baker-Nunn Schmidt telescope to produce a digital map of the Northern sky at optical bands, and a 4-m liquid mirror telescope for deep sky survey of transient sources. These optical facilities with specialized back-end instruments are expected to become operational within the next few years. All the telescopes, except the 0.5-m Schmidt, will be located at Devasthal, Nainital in the central Himalayas.

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Keywords : Telescope - optical:instrumentation