Raipur’s Dr Barway among lucky few to witness neutron stars’ collision

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 01 Dec 2017 10:57:25


Special Correspondent,


In an amazing landmark in the history of Science, optical image and gravitational signal created during the collision of two neutron stars was recorded simultaneously on August 17, 2017. There were many Indians who observed Gravitational Wave, but a few astronomers were there to observe Optical Imaging. Dr Sudhanshu Barway, an Indian astronomer born in Raipur and studied in Pt Ravishankar Shukla University, was part of this massive international effort to observe this cosmic event.

He used IRSF (Infra-Red Survey Facility Telescope located in Sutherland, South Africa) to monitor this collision which gradually faded in the visible light but brightened in the infrared, consistent with the final stages of the afterglow from the surrounding debris.

“This marked a new era in astronomy know as multi-messenger astronomy, in which various techniques such as the gravitational wave laser interferometers and astronomical telescopes are used together to study one event,” said Dr Barway, who worked as staff astronomer at South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), Cape Town, South Africa told this newspaper.

After early EM detection of this GW event from GW170817 on August 17, the object started fading in blue and getting brighten up in IR. “I happened to be observing with IRSF Telescope at Sutherland,” said Dr Barway.

The signals triggered huge excitement as Gravitational waves had been predicted by Einstein in 1916 but were only detected for the first time two years ago, by scientists at LIGO who this year won the Nobel Prize for physics, Dr Barway said. He did his MSc and PhD at PRSU, Raipur and was a student of Professor S K Pandey, the Vice-Chancellor of the University. Dr Barway did his schooling from Tatyapara situated Shishu Shiksha Kendra followed by schooling from St Paul’s School and completed graduation at Government Nagarjuna Science College.

When asked about Astronomy and Astrology, Dr Barway said that Astrology is heavily based on Astronomy. Astronomy is based on ancient Maths. Astrology is not scientifically proven and the prediction made by the astrologers based on the data base of great people.

“I will say Astrologers never predict negative. If they say two bad things, they say 10 goods things for you to encourage and fill positive energy in you,” said Dr Barway while rejecting any role of stars and planets on any individual.
Dr Barway said that he wants to return what he had taken from Raipur and therefore he had registered himself as PhD supervisor.

“Students interested in working with me and in my research are welcome. When I visit Raipur I used to visit the astrophysics department of the university to update students with the development taking place around them,” added Dr Barway who is joining Indian Institute of Astronomy (IIA) Bengaluru as Scientist.

Speaking on India’s position, Dr Barway said that India has got around 2000 astronomers which is very meager in comparison to its population.
Government of India has started spending money in this sector. India is partnered in the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project in Hawaii, investing Square Kilometer Array (SKA) Telescope project and Gravitational Wave detector is being made in India.

Talking about career in Astronomy, Dr Barway said that Data Intensive (Astronomy) and in other subjects are emerging as favourite subject.