Type 1a supernova spotted in M82

(A version of this piece appeared on The Hindu, Chennai, website on January 22 as written by me.) A Type 1a supernova was spotted a few hours ago by stargazers in the starburst galaxy M82, which is only 11.4 million light-years away from Earth (here’s an interactive map and a helpful sky-chart). This is the closest such … Read more

A useful book to have around

India’s Rise as a Space Power is a book by Prof. Udupi Ramachandra Rao, former Chairman, ISRO (1988-1994), that provides some useful historical context of the space research organization from a scientist’s perspective, not an administrator’s. Through it, Prof. Rao talks about how our space program was carefully crafted with a series of satellites and … Read more

And the GSLV flew!

The Copernican January 6, 2014 Congratulations, ISRO, for successfully launching the GSLV-D5 (and the GSAT-14 satellite with it) on January 5. Even as I write this, ISRO has put out an update on its website: “First orbit raising operation of GSAT-14 is successfully completed by firing the Apogee Motor for 3,134 seconds on Jan 06, … Read more

Rethinking cryptocurrency

I’m still unsure about bitcoins’ uncertain future as far as mainstream adoption is concerned, but such issues have been hogging media limelight so much so that people are missing out on why bitcoins are actually awesome. They’re not awesome because they’re worth about $800 apiece (at the time of writing this) or because they threaten … Read more