Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences

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Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES)
आर्यभट्ट प्रेक्षण विज्ञान शोध संस्थान
Established20 April 1954 (1954-04-20)
Field of research
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Atmospheric Sciences
DirectorProf. Dipankar Banerjee[1]
AddressManora Peak
LocationNainital, Uttarakhand, India

Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) is a leading research institute in Nainital, Uttarakhand which Coordinates: 29°21′32″N 79°27′29″E / 29.359°N 79.458°E / 29.359; 79.458specializes in Astronomy, Solar Physics, Astrophysics and Atmospheric Sciences. It is an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, the institute is situated at Manora Peak (1,951 m (6,401 ft)), about 9 km from Nainital, a popular hill station.[2]

The astronomical observatory is open to the public during working days on afternoons. For night viewing however, three - four days on moonlight nights are fixed and prior permission is needed.[3]

Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences


The institute was started on 20 April 1954 under the supervision of Dr. A. N. Singh as Uttar Pradesh State Observatory (UPSO) in the premises of the Government Sanskrit College, presently known as Sampurnanand Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. With the formation of the State of Uttarakhand on 9 November 2000, and because of its geographical location within the boundaries of Uttarakhand, UPSO came under the administrative control of the Government of Uttarakhand and was re-christened as the State Observatory (SO). The institute was named as Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) when it came under the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India as an autonomous body on 22 March 2004. ARIES has 32.38 hectares of land at Manora Peak, Nainital on which functional and residential buildings are located. Functional buildings have covered area of 3435 square meters and residential buildings have covered area of 1963 square meters. For installation of new observational facilities another 4.48 hectare land has been acquired at Devasthal (longitude 79° 41′ E, latitude 29° 23′ N, altitude 2500 meters) situated at a distance of nearly 50 km by road from Nainital. The site has about 200 clear nights in a year and the median ground level seeing is about 1".

Research facilities[edit]

Astronomy and Astrophysics[edit]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel remotely activate the ARIES telescope from Brussels on 30 March 2016.

Research activities at ARIES cover topics related to the sun, stars and galaxies. ARIES has made significant contributions particularly to the field of star clusters and Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs). The longitude of ARIES (79° East) locates it in the middle of a 180-degree wide longitude band having modern astronomical facilities lying between the Canary Islands (20° West) and Eastern Australia (157° East). Observations, which are not possible in Canary Islands or Australia due to daylight, can be made at ARIES. Because of its geographical location and existence of good astronomical observation sites, ARIES has made unique contributions to many areas of astronomical research, particularly those involving time critical phenomena (e.g., the first successful attempt in the country to observe optical afterglow of GRBs was carried out from ARIES). A large number of eclipsing binaries, variable stars, star clusters, nearby galaxies, GRBs, and supernova have been observed from ARIES. The other research fields of the institute include solar astronomy, stellar astronomy, star clusters, stellar variability and pulsation, photometric studies of nearby galaxies, Quasars, and transient events like supernovae and highly energetic Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs). A total solar eclipse lasting about 4 minutes was successfully observed from Manavgat, Antalya in Turkey on 29 March 2006 by a team of scientists from the Institute.

In past, new ring systems around Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune were discovered from the observatory. Recently, for the first time a direct correlation between the intra-night optical variability and the degree of polarization of the radio jets in Quasars was established based on the observations from ARIES. For the first time periodic oscillations are detected in optical intra day variability data of blazers which is extremely useful to get the blackhole mass of blazers and also provide a strong support to accretion disk based models of AGN.

Atmospheric Sciences[edit]

Nainital (29.40N; 79.50E, 1958 m amsl) is located at a high altitude in the Central Himalayas and away from urban cities or any major pollution source. This factor makes it very suitable for carrying out observations in background condition and to study the regional environment, particularly interactions between natural and anthropogenic trace species and climate change. Additionally, the ARIES site can also provide information on long range transport of pollutants. Studies on lower atmospheric dynamics are also very important in this region, which is severely lacking over northern India.


The Institute has in-house workshops to meet the requirements of electronic, mechanical, and optical maintenance of the instruments. ARIES has a modern computer center with internet facility and a well maintained library with more than 10,000 volumes of research journals and an excellent collection of books on Astronomy & Astrophysics and Atmospheric Sciences.


  • 3.6m Devasthal Optical Telescope
  • 1.3m Devasthal Optical Telescope
  • 104 cm Sampurnanand Telescope
  • Solar Telescope
  • 4m International Liquid Mirror Telescope (ILMT)
  • Baker-Nunn Schmidt Telescope (BNST)
  • Stratosphere Troposphere Radar

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Director's Message | Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences".
  2. ^ "Local attractions: Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES)". Nainital district official website.
  3. ^ "OBSERVATORY (Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES)". Official Nainital tourism website.

External links[edit]