Wednesday, April 3, 2013

1304.0235 (Ram Sagar et al.)

Optical Astronomical Facilities at Nainital, India    [PDF]

Ram Sagar, Brijesh Kumar, Amitesh Omar
Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (acronym ARIES) operates a 1-m aperture optical telescope at Manora Peak, Nainital since 1972. Considering the need and potential of establishing moderate size optical telescope with spectroscopic capability at the geographical longitude of India, the ARIES plans to establish a 3.6m new technology optical telescope at a new site called Devasthal. This telescope will have instruments providing high resolution spectral and seeing-limited imaging capabilities at visible and near-infrared bands. A few other observing facilities with very specific goals are also being established. A 1.3m aperture optical telescope to monitor optically variable sources was installed at Devasthal in the year 2010 and 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 was installed at Manora Peak in 2011. A 4-m liquid mirror telescope for deep sky survey of transient sources is planned at Devasthal. These optical facilities with specialized back-end instruments are expected to become operational within the next few years and can be used to optical studies of a wide variety of astronomical topics including follow-up studies of sources identified in the radio region by GMRT and UV/X-ray by ASTROSAT.
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