Indian Researchers Bag Historic Awards At Worlds Largest Astronomy Meet- Know More

Image Credits: Facebook and Indian Express

The Logical Indian Crew

Indian Researchers Bag Historic Awards At World's Largest Astronomy Meet- Know More

"It is rare for a country to win so many PhD thesis awards at a global forum", said president of the Astronomical Society of India, who is celebrating this remarkable feat along with the four researchers who made their mark in exploring solar physics.

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Representing the country on a global platform, four Indian researchers attended the 31st International Astronomical Union (IAU) meet held at Busan, South Korea, and were among the seven international candidates who bagged awards and recognitions for their PhD work. The four researchers specialise in the study of solar physics and claimed the top honours by presenting remarkable contributions.

The IAU meet took off on August 2nd and concluded on August 11th, with the meet witnessing India's maiden Pavillion and four Indians returning home with honours.

The Future Of Science

The four researchers who marked their spot with their exceptional research works are Prantika Bhowmik, Gopal Hazra, Souvik Bose, and Reetika Joshi.

Prantika Bhowmik, from the Centre of Excellence in Space Sciences India at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata, won the PhD at Large Prize of the International Astronomical Union for her study regarding the prediction of the future activity of the sun based on novel computational methods. Bhowmik was beyond ecstatic to be recognised as a young researcher within an international community after years of consistent hard work, reported The Week.

Gopal Hazra from the Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc), Bengaluru, won the best PhD thesis award for his research on the development of three-dimensional computational models of the solar sunspot cycle. Hailing from the small town of Berhampore in West Bengal, Hazra had his share of challenges, and he believes that this win validated it all.

Reetika Joshi, representing the Kumaun University and Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital, won the thesis award for her observations on the plasma jets in the sun's atmosphere, which sustain the surprisingly hot million degree solar outer atmosphere. Joshi stated that this award gave her a nudge towards an extraordinary scientific future.

Souvik Bose, a former MTech student at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru and PhD student at the University of Oslo, won the award for his contributions to understanding the origin of chromospheric spicules, that play a key role in driving the sun's plasma winds.

All their works are considered high-quality research works. Asserting this further, Dipankar Banerjee, president of the Astronomical Society of India said that the awards are a recognition of the high-quality work that has been coming out of the country in recent times. He acknowledged that there have been consistent efforts to understand the sun and its impact on our space environment and that the international recognition is proof of the same. As quoted from Indian Express, Banerjee remarked it as a rare feat for a country to win these many PhD thesis awards on a global level, and especially rare in the field of solar physics.

India's Debut At The Largest Astronomy Meet

Hosting its maiden Pavillion, India set up a booth at the IAU to showcase its many achievements and opportunities to pursue astronomical research across the country. The impact of investments made in the field of astronomy and astrophysics is being acknowledged in the competitive international space, stated Dibyendu Nandi, the chairperson of IISER's Public Outreach and Education Committee.

The booth was able to shine light on the developed facilities and the astronomical community that continues to work dedicatedly towards the growth of the scientific field. Among those featured at the event were the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope in Pune, the Devasthal Optical Telescope in Nainital, the Indian Astronomical Observatory in Hanle and solar observatories in Udaipur and Kodaikanal.

There were special mentions of the space-based missions of 'Chandrayaan' and 'Astrosat', alongside the future ambitious missions of 'Aditya L1', 'Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) India', the 'Thirty Metre Telescope (TMT)' and the 'Square Metre Array (SKA)'.

Also Read: Rewind 2021: Here's Top 5 Scientific, Tech Developments That Made Indians Proud

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