Astronomy

SKA 2016 Science Conference Opens To A Full House

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SKA 2016, an international conference for researchers in Radio Astronomy began at the Hotel Cidade in Goa today. The event has been jointly organized by NCRA and SKAO . It features talks and discussions on the latest findings in Radio Astronomy and Cosmology. The conference is expected to go on till 11th November 2016 and has an entire day dedicated for poster sessions by Ph.D and post-doc students.

The Square Kilometer Array (SKA) is one of the most ambitious projects ever undertaken in radio astronomy and is being fabricated by a multi-national team spread around the globe. In bringing the SKA to life, engineers have had to grapple with technical challenges hitherto never before been encountered. This makes the construction of the SKA, which includes parts fabricated from more than a hundred different companies one of the greatest technical achievements of the 21st Century. For those who are keen to know more about the SKA, the below video provides a comprehensive overview of the world’s largest radio telescope.

The conference kick-started with a overview of the SKA, it’s capabilities and the science it is expected to foster. The talk was jointly presented by Philip Diamond, Robert Braun and Yashwant Gupta. Mr Gupta later spoke at length on the up-gradation work being carried out on the GMRT which will lead to the creation of the uGMRT.

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Phil Diamond, Director of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics.

The inaugural session was followed by a session on Fast Radio Bursts (FRB’s). FRB’s have had the astronomical research community hooked since they were first observed in 2001.  FRB’s consist of radio bursts mostly from pulsars that are of a very shot duration (milliseconds) but with an enormous magnitude (equivalent to radiation released by 500 million Suns).

The five day event has seen more than 200 researchers turn up for the event. Astronomers and scientists from the India, Australia, United Kingdom and South Africa seem to be well represented. The next few days will see presentations from 60 speakers and poster presentations by more than 90 researchers (Sponsored by Nature Journals).

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Delegates seated in the conference room.

The rest of the week will see presentations on topics that cover the re-ionization of the universe, the presence of helium across the Universe, cosmic magnetism, solar physics, high energy physics and Pulsars. Watch this blog for more live updates about the conference.

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