Tag Archives: Astrophysics

Exclusive: Interview with Pluto

Pluto

Source: NASA

In an Exclusive, Fuzzlabs has secured a straight communication line with the Planet… err I mean Dwarf Planet Pluto. Discovered in 1930 by an American Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, Pluto enjoyed the status of a planet until 2006 before it was unceremoniously removed from the exclusive group of Planets comprising of major players like Jupiter and Earth.

In this interview Pluto talks to us about its life, Kuiper Belt and Planet X. Continue reading

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Ten Observatories in India that is probing the Cosmos

Last month Indian Space Agency ISRO put a Space Observatory AstroSat around the Earth’s orbit. It was ISRO’s first scientific mission aimed at deeper understanding of the universe by observing the cosmos. However, India’s interest in space science is not a recently developed passion. From the monumental Sanskrit treatise on astronomy, Aryabhattiya, to the impeccable sundial, Jantar Mantar, India’s affair with astronomy has a fascinating history. Post independence, Indian researchers have been taking forward this legacy with renewed vigor. And they have been doing that with massive telescopes of varied kinds aimed at the cosmos.

Here’s a list of ten fabulous Observatories in India

Continue reading

Contact (1997) : Journey to the heart of Universe

Nowords

Brilliant performance by Jodie Foster is what makes this film must watch

Have you ever enjoyed an opening sequence of a film so much that you wished it never ended. Contact’s opening sequence is absolutely brilliant and for about two minutes you are lost in its awesomeness as the visuals zooms out of Earth into far end of the universe.

Robert Zemeckis’s (director of Forrest Gump) Contact happens to be one of my favorite science fiction films. Sure it doesn’t have lead protagonist battling in space or stranded in another planet to stay alive, it doesn’t have a magnanimous black hole into which our hero falls. Or a killer robot hellbent on eliminating our protagonist. No! but its a satisfying film to say the least. It doesn’t answer anything but help us get comfortable with our unawareness.

Towards the end Dr Ellie Arroway played by Jodie Foster, talking to a bunch of school kids, says that she will tell them one thing about the universe. That its big. Bigger than anything we ever imagined. And if its just us.. seems like an awful waste of space.

Indeed! Continue reading

Colossal Scale of the Universe

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To call our universe, Big, would be an understatement. The Earth itself, where humans evolved, invented tools, developed science, built telescopes… is nothing, absolutely nothing compared to the colossal scale of the universe. It is apparent that universe cannot be comprehended in terms of our usual idea of distance. Hence, Astronomers understand the universe in terms of – Light.

According to the fundamental laws of physics, nothing travels faster than light. Our Sun is 150 million kilometers away from the Earth and Continue reading

What you need to know about latest ISRO mission

AstroSat - An Indian Eye in the Sky

AstroSat at lab before it was launched into the space. Source: isro.gov.in

If ever media is using phrases such as ‘Another feather in the cap’ or ‘India’s pride’, one can assure themselves that they are speaking about ISRO. Indian Space Agency is awesome and they have proven their magnificence yet again with ‘textbook launch’ (yet another phrase synonymous with ISRO) of a satellite they have christened AstroSat from Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.

Now, everyone will be familiar that AstroSat is not just another satellite that ISRO’s most reliable launch vehicle PSLV is putting into orbit; it is India’s first Space Observatory.

The 180 crores project propelled ISRO into being one of the select few organizations with their own observatories in space. Not even China has one. ISRO have had profound missions like Mangalyaan and Chandrayaan before, but all of them were technology demonstration basically. What is so special about this mission is that, with AstroSat, ISRO puts Space Research back into Indian Space Research Organization. Continue reading

Understanding Gravity Waves

The Dark Sector Lab (DSL), houses the BICEP2 telescope (left) and the South Pole Telescope (right). Source : bicepkeck.org

On 17 March 2014, scientists announced that they had detected primordial gravitational waves using a telescope called Bicep2 at South Pole providing first direct evidence of Cosmic Inflation, a phenomenon that happened just after the Big Bang.

The claim however was quickly snubbed when an international group of scientists using a Space Telescope Planck found out that Bicep2’s data could be just dust scattered through the galaxy. Embarrassing indeed.

So, this might make one wonder whats the fuss all about!?!

Gravity

Gravity, is the most mysterious of all forces. Sir Isaac Newton, was first to study this phenomenon. You might be familiar with the awesome story of course about how an apple fell on him. And so the legend goes that, Newton was so affected by that apple that he went ahead and formulated his laws of gravitation. Continue reading

Drake Equation and the Search for Alien Civilization

Are we alone?

Are we alone?

Looking up into the night sky, us humans have the habit of going into all existential mode pondering about life in general. Philosophers and scientists throughout centuries have been wondering if we are really Alone in this universe. The question does form an interesting premise for a philosophical debates.

Then, early in nineteenth century, scientists started asking another more specific question, much more scientific one.

‘If they do exist, Where are they? And how many of them are technically advanced enough to reach out to us?’

Remember E.T? or the desi one called Jaadoo? What if civilizations such as that did exist somewhere in the cosmos? Continue reading