1. PhD student position available at IAP paris under our info-french programme

  2. ICTS workshop+conference "The Future of Gravitational-Wave Astronomy"

  3. ICTS program on "Extragalactic Relativistic Jets: Cause and Effect"

  4. JAXA International Top Young Fellow

  5. Advt for Univ faculty (including those for CBS)

  6. Workshop on Photoionisation simulation using Cloudy

  7. Indo-French Astronomy School for Optical Spectroscopy

  8. A book authored by Thanu Padmanabhan - Sleeping Beauties in Theoretical Physics: 26 Surprising Insights

  9. Professor M.K. Vainu Bappu Gold Medal (2014)

  10. Rich LOFAR is now online

  11. National Conference on Recent Trends in the study of Compact Objects – Theory and Observation (RETCO-II) May 6-8, 2015

  12. International LOFAR Telescope Regular Proposal Call, Cycle 4 will run from 15 May 2015 to 14 November 2015, Submission deadline: Wednesday 11 March 2015, 12:00 UT

  13. ASTRON and JIVE announce the availability of a limited number of grants for their 2015 Summer Student Programme.

  14. Announcement from ASI Public Outreach Committee

  15. Call for nominations for the IUPAP Young Scientist Medals in the field of Astrophysics

NEW CAPABILITIES: The International LOFAR Telescope (ILT) is a powerful next-generation radio telescope for frequencies below 240 MHz that offers revolutionary new observing capabilities thanks to its phased-array technology with digital beam-forming. LOFAR delivers correlated visibility data for synthesis imaging, plus in/coherently added single and multiple station data (several beam-formed modes) as well as transient buffer read-out, for example for studies of pulsars, transients, and cosmic rays. For Cycle 4, there are important extensions to the set of standard observing capabilities, particularly high resolution (long baseline) imaging - described in detail online – and self-calibration, whose detailed performance and sensitivity information will be updated online on 23 February 2015 .

WORLDWIDE COMMUNITY: Time on the ILT is available to scientists from the worldwide community, partly through Open Skies, and partly through allocations in tandem between national consortia and the independent Programme Committee (PC). Scientific and technical strengths of the proposals are taken along in the evaluation; in view of the novel character of the ILT, first-time proposers are advised to get in contact with Science Support at ASTRON well ahead of the deadline or to seek suitable collaborators.

TIME AND DATA RIGHTS: Allocations consist of observing time (available 1600 hrs of which 750 hrs at night) and/or processing resources (available 2400 hrs on CEP2). The PC will define restricted data access rights (default period 1 year) based on the specific science goals and arguments in the proposal. Other groups may be allocated simultaneous access for different science.

PROCESSOR REQUESTS: Each proposal must request processing time to match the observing time within appropriate documented ratios, or should justify how processing will proceed elsewhere. The ILT standard data processor is CEP2. Access to the CEP3 cluster for advanced processing by users should be mentioned in the proposal, as well as any envisioned additional use of ILT-related facilities in Amsterdam or Juelich for offline processing (see details online).

LOCAL ADD-ON EQUIPMENT: Some ILT stations have added privately owned facilities, such as ARTEMIS and others, to capture and process their individual station data streams “locally”. The relevant facilities are listed online. For Cycle 4, the worldwide community may request general ILT observing time aimed at using that private equipment, but with the important proviso that the submission of any such ILT proposal will be taken as certification by the PI that consent has been individually arranged beforehand with all appropriate owners that they will facilitate the use of their equipment for the proposed project (if centrally allocated ILT time). More details are given online.

SUBMISSION RULES: Proposers must use the online submission tool NorthStar and adhere strictly to the instructions concerning format, page limits, and content, as given online.

COMPLETE INFORMATION: Please refer online to important additional information on the proposal process and on the capabilities of LOFAR. From the main ASTRON website,, navigate to Radio Observatory, LOFAR. Please note the "Important further instructions and information" section in the Regular Proposal Call page.

R.C. Vermeulen

Director, International LOFAR Telescope

ASTRON and JIVE announce the availability of a limited number of grants for their 2015 Summer Student Programme.

The Programme enables astronomy students (graduate or advanced under-graduate) to spend the summer (10-12 weeks) at the Dwingeloo Observatory, conducting astronomical research under the supervision of ASTRON and JIVE staff members. Possible topics of study include radio galaxies and quasars, aspects of observational cosmology, continuum and line emission/absorption from normal and starbust galaxies, faint radio sources, pulsars, molecular clouds, cosmic magnetism, as well as working with LOFAR data. The actual project the successful candidate will work on will be defined after arrangement with the local supervisor.

The research grants will provide successful candidates with accommodation in the locality of the Observatory, a modest stipend for up to three months, and full travel reimbursement. We expect the participants to start early June 2015; we aim for as much overlap of the participants as possible and encourage interaction between the students in social activities.

For all information and to apply on-line for the Summer Student Programme, please look at

Please note that two letters of reference are needed via an on-line process; information about this is being provided at the registration website. Deadline for applications is 9 February 2015 .

Organizers Summer Student programme

The ASI had constituted a Public Outreach and Education Committee at the last meeting in Mohali. Since then, we have been organising ourselves, setting up networks, talking to people and making lists of activities to organise. We see our role as more of a coordinator and initiator and hence strive to work with as many stakeholder groups as possible, across the country. In order to do so, we would like your help too.

1. Who we are, where we are, what we do

Our website is and this is being slowly populated with content. Our facebook page is asi.poec ( and quite a lot of activity has been happening there recently. Our mandate and some initial activities can be found on the webpage.

Our email is

2. How to work with us

If you are organising an outreach event and would like us to collaborate or publicise, let us know. If you have an idea which you would like to discuss with us, let us know too !

In addition, if you would like to volunteer for specific tasks, please let us know by filling up a small form at

3. ASI events

At the ASI itself, we will be organising, with your help, the following activities :

a. ASI special session : we are organising a special evening session at the ASI on 19th of Feb from 6.30-7.30 pm. We will start by summarising our recent activities and go on to a open discussion with the audience on what our future plans should be, and elicit ideas for collaborative campaigns, especially from professional astronomers

b. Popular summaries & press releases at the ASI : we are, in collaboration with the LOC of the NCRA, planning to
  1. prepare daily 2 page summaries of interesting results from that day's talks for the press. If you are giving a talk, please do send in a 3-5 line summary to us ahead of time. We would also need volunteers to attend each session and help prepare these summaries, so please do join in. These will also be put up on the ASI website.
  2. we would like to have a blog, aimed at college students, where there are 1-page simple summaries of each talk, preferably with illustrative figures. If you would like to use this vehicle to talk about your work to a larger audience, please send in your contributions as soon as you can. Or let us know that you are interested to do so, and we promise to nag you later till you do
  3. we would like to publish a series of popular level astronomy articles in the national media during the month of February. If you have an article ready on a topic of contemporary or historical interest, or would like to write one soon, let us know

c. Interviews at the ASI : As was done last year, we plan to do 5-10 min video interviews of various participants, where we ask you to explain your work in a simple language aimed at high school and college students. These will go on youtube. We will catch you during the ASI, and we hope you will help out

d. Student programmes at the ASI : We will be conducting a practical session (calibration, measurement, data analysis) with some students using the Samrat Yantra at the IUCAA and you are welcome to join us. We will also be doing an online 'Ask an Astronomer' session during the ASI with help from some of you.

Chairperson, Public Outreach and Education Committee, ASI

  Rich LOFAR is now online
We are pleased to announce the official opening of public access to the LOFAR Long Term Archive (LTA). The International LOFAR Telescope (ILT) operates a state-of-the-art array of antenna stations in the Netherlands and other European countries at radio frequencies below 240 MHz, with advanced data processing equipment. Telescope time is available to the world-wide astronomical community through open calls for proposals that are announced every 6 months.

  National Conference on Recent Trends in the study of Compact Objects – Theory and Observation (RETCO-II) May 6-8, 2015
We are pleased to announce the National Conference on Recent Trends in the study of Compact Objects – Theory and Observation (RETCO-II) May 6-8, 2015 ARIES, Nainital, India
Two years ago we organized a meeting `Recent Trends in the study of Compact Objects – Theory and Observation' at IIT Guwahati, in order to discuss the recent developments in the research of compact objects, and to present them to the students of the North-East. The success of this conference prompted us to contemplate to hold it at regular intervals. The year 2015 is the centenary year of general relativity and coincidentally a year marked by ongoing efforts to launch observatory class Indian X-ray satellite ASTROSAT, ongoing installation of 4 meter class optical telescope in Devasthal, Nainital or, joining in international projects like TMT, SALT, SKA or INDIGO by Indian scientists. It is slated to be a year like no other for Indian astronomy in general and compact object research in particular.

This year we would like to organize RETCO-II at Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Science (ARIES), a research institute geared up for research in Astrophysics & Astronomy and Environmental Sciences. ARIES is snuggled in the lower Himalayas very near to the picturesque town of Nainital. ARIES has two 1 meter class optical telescope and the 3.6 m telescope is being installed right now. It would be an opportunity for young researchers to discuss with leaders of this subject, have a first look at real life telescopes and enjoy the pleasant weather of Nainital in the month of May. Topics of the conference are:

  1. Multi-wavelength investigations around stellar mass black holes, neutron stars and white dwarfs - X-ray binaries and Cvs.
  2. Multi-wavelength investigations around super-massive black holes at centres of galaxies, under the unified scheme for quasars, AGNS, Blazers, Seyferts.
  3. Theoretical studies and numerical simulations of accretion-ejection system around black holes, transonic solutions, Keplerian discs etc
  4. Numerical and theoretical studies of accretion onto high magnetic field systems, accretion torque, emission mechanisms, neutron star magnetic field.
  5. The phenomena of Fast Transient in Super giant X-ray binaries.
  6. Strong gravity and neutron star equation of state.
  7. Multi-wavelength study of astrophysical jets.
  8. The signature of the birth pangs of compact objects – GRBs and Supernovae.
The proceedings of the conference will be published in SCI journal.

National Advisory Committee:
Sandip Chakrabarti (SNBNCBS);
A. R. Rao (TIFR) ;
K. P. Singh (TIFR) ;
Prasad Subramaniam (IISER-Pune);

Dipankar Bhattacharya (IUCAA);
Biswajit Paul (RRI) ;
S. Seetha (ISRO);
D. J. Saikia (CCSU);
Indranil Chattopadhyay (ARIES).
Organizing Committee:
Indranil Chattopadhyay (Convener, ARIES);
Gulab Dewangan (IUCAA);
Jeewan C. Pandey (ARIES);
Alok Gupta (ARIES);
Hum Chand (ARIES).
Santabrata Das (IIT Guwahati);
Sudip Bhattacharya (TIFR);
Anuj Nandi (ISAC, ISRO);
Samir Mandal (IIST);
Local Organizing Committee:
Indranil Chattopadhyay (Chairman, ARIES);
Jeewan C. Pandey (co-Chairman, ARIES);
Abhishek Sharma (Treasurer, ARIES) ;
Hum Chand (ARIES);
Subhas Bose (ARIES);
Rajiv Kumar (ARIES);
Mukesh Vyas (ARIES);
Parveen Kumar (ARIES).

Workshop on Photoionisation simulation using Cloudy

IUCAA will organize a workshop during 21-26 September 2015 on simulating photoionised plasmas with Cloudy. The workshop will cover observation, theory, and apply Cloudy to a wide variety of astronomical environments, including the interstellar medium, AGB stars, Active Galactic Nuclei, Starburst galaxies, and the intergalactic medium. The lectures and hands-on sessions will be carried out by Gary Ferland, with some help from young researchers. The sessions will consist of a mix of textbook study, using Osterbrock & Ferland, Astrophysics of Gaseous Nebulae and Active Galactic Nuclei, and application of Cloudy. Participants will break up into small teams and organize research projects of mutual interest. Young researchers especially Ph.D. students and Postdoctoral researchers from India and abroad who plan to use Cloudy or want to gain in-depth knowledge of Cloudy should send their application by email to by May 31, 2015.

The application should be in pdf format and contain the applicant's CV and a short, not exceeding one page, write-up of applicant's current research interests. Ph. D. students should also arrange a reference letter from their advisers to be directly sent by email to on or before May 31, 2015. The number of participants is limited to 35. Selected participants will be informed by June 21, 2015. All selected participants will be provided accommodation on the IUCAA campus and meals free of charge. Limited travel support to participants from Indian Universities is also available. For further information, please visit

Indo-French Astronomy School for Optical Spectroscopy
Venue: Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, India
Dates: November 23-28, 2015

A book authored by Thanu Padmanabhan
Sleeping Beauties in Theoretical Physics: 26 Surprising Insights
Springer Lecture Notes in Physics (April, 2015)
[ISBN-13: 978-3319134420; ISBN-10: 3319134426]
This book addresses a fascinating set of questions in theoretical physics which will both entertain and enlighten all students, teachers and researchers and other physics aficionados. These range from Newtonian mechanics to quantum field theory and cover several puzzling issues that do not appear in standard textbooks. Some topics cover conceptual conundrums, the solutions to which lead to surprising insights; some correct popular misconceptions in the textbook discussion of certain topics; others illustrate deep connections between apparently unconnected domains of theoretical physics; and a few provide remarkably simple derivations of results which are not often appreciated. The connoisseur of theoretical physics will enjoy a feast of pleasant surprises skilfully prepared by an internationally acclaimed theoretical physicist. Each topic is introduced with proper background discussion and special effort is taken to make the discussion self-contained, clear and comprehensible to anyone with an undergraduate e ducation in physics.
Springer URL:
The book or individual e-chapters can be now ordered from the Springer link given below.
Amazon URL:
Download Chapeter Highlights- PDF

Advt for Univ faculty (including those for CBS)
Our University's advt for various faculty positions is attached herewith. The same may also be browsed in our website ( details with a link for CBS. Please pass it to all whom you think would be interested, specially for the positions for Center for Basic Sciences that we would begin from the academic session 2015-16. The entrance exam for CBS is TODAY i.e. on June 3, 2015 which shall be followed by counselling before final admission. About 700 students will be appearing for the test for 40 seats available. We plan to hold induction program sometime in July in the presence of our Chief Minister and others.

S K Pandey
Pt Ravishankar Shukla University

JAXA International Top Young Fellow
PD position at JAXA called "JAXA International Top Young Fellowship", which is open for application as follows.
The application deadline is coming: June 19.
This position is open for general space science research, which, of course, includes infrared astronomy. Successful applicants in the field of infrared astronomy are expected to work on the data from AKARI and other missions (WISE, Herschel, etc.). Instrument-oriented scientists, especially for future missions such as SPICA, are also very much welcome.

ICTS program on "Extragalactic Relativistic Jets: Cause and Effect"

An ICTS program on "Extragalactic Relativistic Jets: Cause and Effect", that will take place in Bangalore, India from October 12-20, 2015. The meeting will focus on extragalactic relativistic jets, with special emphasis on new results from nuSTAR, ALMA and Fermi-GST, among others. As it is forty years since the discovery of the Fanaroff-Riley dichotomy, the meeting will also focus on the diversity of jet structures in AGN and what we learn from them about jet formation. The details of the programme can be accessed using the link and also in the attached poster. The deadline for registration is June 30, 2015.

ICTS workshop+conference "The Future of Gravitational-Wave Astronomy"

ICTS workshop is being organized with an associated short conference, called "The Future of Gravitational-Wave Astronomy" in Bangalore during 2016 April 4 to 8. This program is organized to celebrate the recent discovery of gravitational waves and to make use of this momentum to intensify the Indian contribution to this emerging research frontier. The meeting will bring together researchers from various aspects of GW science and from related areas, with an aim to develop more active collaborations. More information is available here:

PhD student position available at IAP paris under our info-french programme

PhD student position available at IAP paris under info-french programme. The advt is attached to this mail. Click on the link here here

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