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  • SPACE organises a Talk on ‘Aditya Mission’

    Published on July 17, 2011

    New Delhi:  On, July 14, the talk was held at Shivaji College while on July 15, Bal Bharati Public School, Pitampura students were lucky enough to interact with them. The interaction with Dr. Bannerjee was primarily based on ‘Aditya Mission’, an initiative of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Dr. Banerjee is a primary scientist and a vital part of the core team of the ‘Aditya Mission’ and has a strong belief in spreading the scientific temperament to one and all. On his brief visit to Delhi from USA, he planned to make the maximum of this opportunity to spread awareness among the Delhi school students about solar physics and the ‘Aditya Mission’. SPACE grabbed this exciting opportunity to interact with Dr. Banerjee and provided him a platform where he could share his views and ideas. He looks forward to attracting more students towards science in higher education as he believes that being a scientist is the most interesting profession as it gives you flexibility of thought and work. He also feels that it’s always best to have your hobby as your profession while he did just the same. Dr. Banerjee is not only a solar physicist but an artiste too; he performs Bengali theatre around the country.

    SPACE always wishes to outreach science for the public and as a part of our program Centre for Student Excellence in Astronomy and Space Sciences, SPACE tries to provide students a platform for interaction with scientists and astronomers. Bal Bharati Public School, Pitampura runs a Centre for Student Excellence in Astronomy and Space Sciences for the students, where they learn hands-on science as a part of this self-sustaining education model. As, the school acts as a Resource cum guide Centre, the school didn’t let this opportunity of a talk by Dr. Banerjee to let go, and the ninth standard students were quite enthusiastic about the whole talk.

    Dr. Banerjee pursued his BSc. (Physics) from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and later did his MSc. (Theoretical Physics) from University of Calcutta, further on he did his PhD in Astrophysics from Indian Institute of Astrophysics Bangalore, and thesis in Magnetohydrodynamic phenomena in the solar atmosphere.

    His major research interests lies in Solar Magnetohydrodynamics, Waves and oscillations in stellar atmosphere. Chromospheric and coronal heating, Solar wind modelling, Helio- and Asteroseismology, Dynamics of solar atmosphere using data from SOHO ( The Solar and Heliospheric Observatory ). Density and Temperature diagnostics in the solar atmosphere. Data analysis and theoretical modeling. Dr. Banerjee’s current projects include (Indo-German) DST-DAAD Project (PPP) -2007, Royal Society-British Council Joint project : Coronal holes and the fast wind: new opportunities with Solar B, Center to limb variations of active region oscillations, Joint observing program (JOP 165), Network and internetwork dynamics

    The talk by Dr. Banerjee focused on the outer atmosphere of the sun – called the corona – that has been observed during total solar eclipse for short periods (typically < 6 min), from as early as the eighteenth century. In the recent past, space-based instruments have permitted us to study the corona uninterruptedly. In spite of these developments, the dynamic corona and its high temperature (1-2 million K) are yet to be fully understood. It is conjectured that their dynamic nature and associated energetic events are possible reasons behind the high temperature. In order to study these in detail, a visible emission line space solar coronagraph is being proposed as a payload under the small-satellite programme of the Indian Space Research Organisation. The satellite is named as Aditya-1 where ‘Aditya’ means ‘sun’. Everyone is excited for Aditya 1 after the Chandrayan, as ‘Aditya Mission’ would be the most exclusive mission which would take pictures of the sun at the speed of three frames per second as compared to the present speed of satellite images of the sun being one frame per eighteen minutes.

    Dr. Banerjee also showed slides of the highest observatory facilities in India and a proposed observatory site at the Pangong Lake in Leh. SPACE eagerly looks forward to arrange such talks in future with passionate physicists and astronomers like these.