Modi, Belgian PM Jointly Launch Asia’s Biggest Telescope

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Brussels: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Belgian counterpart Charles Michel on Wednesday remotely launched Asia’s biggest telescope, the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), built with Belgian assistance.

“Prime Minister Michel and I have just activated, remotely, India’s largest optical telescope,” 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,” he 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 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 Modi, who arrived here today on a hectic day-long visit.