Born on 26th November, 1926, in Jhang, in undivided Punjab, Dr. Yash Pal was an Indian scientist, educator, science communicator and educationist. After completing his M.Sc. degree in Physics from Panjab University, he moved to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his PhD. His areas of specialisation included cosmic rays.
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A galaxy supercluster is the largest known structure in the Universe, made of dozens of galaxy clusters, themselves containing thousands of galaxies. The Saraswati Supercluster, discovered this year by a team of Indian scientists, is the largest known galaxy cluster today. It extends over 650 million light years across and weighs more than 20 billion suns would. We caught up with Prof. Joydeep Bagchi, who led the team that discovered Saraswati Supercluster, for a chat about the importance and implications of the discovery.
One of the major scientific discoveries in the recent past has been the direct detection of gravitational waves, predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity about a century ago, by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in 2016. The detection of short duration gravitational waves sent out during the cataclysmic merger of two black holes in a faraway galaxy, has stirred up considerable excitement as scientists expect more detection events from varied sources with advancements in detectors. A team of Indian astrophysicists led by Sushan Konar from the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), Pune, have now proposed a special class of neutron stars as candidates for targeted search for continuous gravitational waves with the next generation of instruments.