Students from universities all over India attend ARIES Training School in Observational Astronomy

New Delhi: Nearly 100 students from more than 25 universities from all over India were introduced to various topics related to astronomy at an online training programme to develop capacity in the subject. They were taken through subject areas such as telescopes, star formation and evolution, exoplanets, solar physics, galactic and extragalactic astronomy, observing facilities at ARIES, 30-meter telescope project, and Aditya L1 space mission.

The 8-day training programme for post-graduate students titled ‘ARIES Training School in Observational Astronomy (ATSOA) – 2021’ included hands-on and demonstration sessions on various astronomical data processing techniques such as photometry, spectroscopy, polarimetry, and machine learning every day. It was conducted by the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) Govt. of India

The demonstration sessions were designed to help the students in getting a better understanding of the concepts covered during the lectures. The students also got to interact with ARIES scientists, post-doctoral fellows, and research scholars about various opportunities in pursuing astronomy.

The present understanding of the Universe depends not only on continuous growth of observational facilities but also on the number of people utilizing the data generated from these facilities. With technological advances, there are numerous operational and upcoming astronomical facilities in different electromagnetic spectrum bands all over the globe and in space. These facilities will be generating huge volumes of data, which require a growing number of researchers to exploit the data and improve the understanding of celestial bodies.

By conducting training schools annually, ARIES aims to develop an expertise/skill in astronomical data-analysis in optical wavelengths among young students and create a talent pool in the country. ATSOA-2021 was an important step in this direction. The programme from 17th-24th May 2021 was a part of the activities commemorating “75 years of India’s Independence: Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” at ARIES.