Prime Minister Modi, Belgian Counterpart Jointly Activate Asia’s Largest Optical Telescope

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel on Wednesday remotely launched Asia’s biggest optical telescope, the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (Aries) that’s located in India and built with Belgian assistance.

“Prime Minister Michel and I have just activated, remotely, India’s largest optical telescope,” Prime Minister Modi said after launching the telescope with a 3.6-metre-wide primary mirror located at Devasthal near Nainital in Uttarakhand.

“Even sky is not the limit,” the Prime Minister said, referring to the cooperation between the two countries on various projects.

Aries, the largest optical telescope of its kind in Asia, is a product of Indo-Belgian collaboration. It will be used to study star structures and magnetic field structures of stars.

“This product of Indo-Belgian collaboration is an inspiring example of what our partnership can achieve,” said Prime Minister Modi, who was flanked by Belgian Prime Minister Michel.

“The work is also afoot on other agreements in the areas of Information and Communication Technology, audio-visual production Tourism biotechnology and shipping and ports,” said PM Modi, who arrived here today on a hectic day-long visit.

“Aries project is not just a government-to-government initiative,” the Prime Minister said after the activation.

“It is a win-win collaboration between private sectors as well,” Prime Minister added, saying that even the sky was not the limit for the project. Located at the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (Aries) at Devasthal near Nainital, it is a 3.6-metre optical telescope.

India has collaborated with a Belgian company called AMOS to produce this infra-red steerable optical telescope which is the first of its kind in the whole of Asia.



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