Is ground-based astronomy a space activity?

An article published on the European Southern Observatory blog on September 10 describes an effort to protect the night sky – a crucial resource for astronomy – by recasting astronomy as the dominant form of human space exploration and thus attempting to have its activities ‘protected’ by the Outer Space Treaty (OST) and other similar … Read more

They’re trying to build a telescope

If a telescope like the TMT and a big physics experiment like the INO are being stalled for failing to account for the interests and sensibilities of the people already living at or near their planned sites, what should scientists do when they set out to plan for the next big observatory or similar installation … Read more

‘World class’ optical telescope – India’s largest – to be activated near Nainital

The Devasthal optical telescope’s 3.6-m primary mirror with a hole in the middle, through which the secondary mirror will focus the light. Credit: IIST

The instrument is part of a widening foray into observational research in astronomy that India has undertaken since the 1960s, and bolstered with the successful launch of its first multi-wavelength satellite in September 2015.

Rocky exoplanets only get so big before they get gassy

By the time the NASA Kepler mission failed in 2013, it had gathered evidence that there were at least 962 exoplanets in 76 stellar systems, not to mention the final word is awaited on 2,900 more. In the four years it had operated it far surpassed its envisioned science goals. The 12 gigabytes of data it … Read more

A brief description of galactic clusters and their detection

  The oldest galaxies are observed today as elliptical, and to be found in clusters. These clusters are the remnants of older protoclusters that dominated the landscape of outer space in the universe’s early years, years that witnessed the formation of the first stars and, subsequently, the first galaxies. In  regions of space where the … Read more