Seven astronomers won PhD thesis prizes at the International Astronomical Union that is underway in Busan, South Korea from beginning of this month.

The Astronomical Society of India has also launched an Indian pavilion at the event for the first time in half a century, which has highlighted major home-grown Indian facilities like the Giant Metre-wave Radio Telescope near Pune, the Indian Astronomical Observatory in Hanle, Ladakh, the Devasthal Optical Telescope, the Kodaikanal and Udaipur Solar Observatories.

The Indian team has also highlighted the contribution of space science missions such as Chandrayaan and AstroSat and introduced to the gathering new missions such as the Aditya-L1 space mission, India’s first space-based solar observatory and their contribution to projects such as LIGO, the Thirty Meter Telescope and the Square Kilometer Array.

The researchers who bagged the PhD prizes include, Prantika Bhowmik of the Center of Excellence in Space Sciences India at IISER Kolkata for research predicting the future activity of the Sun, Reetika Joshi of Kumaun University and ARIES, Nainital for her observations of plasma jets in the Sun’s atmosphere, Gopal Hazra of IISc, Bangalore for his work on the development of three dimensional computational models of the solar sunspot cycle.

“It is rare for one country to win so many PhD thesis awards at this global forum and even more rare that all of these prizes are in the field of solar physics. This is proof of the high-quality work coming out from India in recent years in understanding the Sun and its impact on our space environment” said Dipankar Banerjee, the President of the Astronomical Society of India said in a statement.


India today