The Governor of Uttarakhand recently highlighted the need for discussing future possibilities of the 104 cm Sampurnanand Telescope (ST), at a workshop organised to commemorate the completion of 50 years of successful operations of the telescope.
- It is a world-class telescope located near Nainital.
- The telescope at Manora Peak was established in 1972 when ARIES was known as the UP State Observatory (UPSO).
- It has been extensively used for optical observations of comets, occultation by planets and asteroids, star-forming regions and star clusters, variable stars, transients, active galactic nuclei, etc.
- Some of the breakthrough science results contributed by the telescope include the discovery of new rings around Saturn and the rings of Uranus.
- The instrumentation and science capabilities of ST have paved the way for setting up National and International facilities by ARIES, such as the 3.6m DOT and the 4 meter International Liquid Mirror Telescope at Devasthal.