‘Celebration Of Space Sciences’: CESSI-IISER Kolkata To Host National Space Science Symposium 2022

‘Celebration Of Space Sciences’: CESSI-IISER Kolkata To Host National Space Science Symposium 2022

by Karan Kamble - Nov 30, 2021 10:27 PM +05:30 IST
‘Celebration Of Space Sciences’: CESSI-IISER Kolkata To Host National Space Science Symposium 2022IISER Kolkata
  • The 21st edition of the National Space Science Symposium will be held from 31 January to 4 February 2022 at IISER Kolkata.

    The symposium will be a hybrid event with online sessions as well as local outreach events in the city.

A marquee event for Indian space science is set to return after three years.

The 21st edition of the National Space Science Symposium (NSSS) will be held from 31 January to 4 February 2022 and hosted by the Center of Excellence in Space Sciences India (CESSI) at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and S N Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata, in addition to IISER Kolkata, are sponsoring this celebration of space sciences in India.

The National Space Science Symposium showcases recent advances and achievements in the fields of astronomical space sciences and Earth observations from space.

As the largest gathering of space scientists in the country from ISRO centres and other academic organisations, the symposium also provides an opportunity to discuss the nation's future vision for space science and the missions necessary to achieve it.

The previous edition of the National Space Science Symposium was held towards the end of January in 2019. Savitribai Phule Pune University (formerly University of Pune) had hosted the event along with co-hosts Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) and the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA).

This time, CESSI-IISER Kolkata, along with partner institutes, has the tough task of organising this large Indian space-science get-together during the pandemic. More than 500 scientists from various institutes have gathered for the earlier editions of this event in the past.

NSSS 2022 poster
NSSS 2022 poster

As in the case of the India International Science Festival (IISF) 2021, which will be kicking off in Panaji, Goa, in December, the 2022 edition of the symposium will be available to participants in the “hybrid” mode — both in-person and virtual.

While the primary scientific sessions and lectures will be held online, the local outreach events and a space science exhibition at Science City Kolkata will be open to the public in Kolkata.

“We are hosting this symposium at a time when the shadow of the Covid pandemic lingers still. Therefore the main scientific sessions are being held completely online,” Dr Dibyendu Nandi, head of CESSI-IISER Kolkata and chairperson of the local organising committee for NSSS 2022, told Swarajya.

The scientific sessions, which are reserved for professional scientists and advanced students, will broadly cover themes from the important branches of astronomy and space science in which India is invested. Some of the areas picked for sessions are space-based meteorology, oceanography, climate change, solar and planetary sciences, and astronomy beyond the solar system.

One session has been devoted to discussing new technological and engineering initiatives that are expected to sustain and drive future space exploration activities and support space-reliant technologies.

The event, however, is not simply geared towards professionals. There’s a lot in store for the general public too.

“We are excited to be able to bring this symposium to the city of Kolkata for the first time — a city where education and science are highly valued. So this time we have planned several outreach events beyond the technical programme so that the public and school and college students can join in a celebration of space sciences both in the city of Kolkata, as well as around the nation,” Dr Nandi said.

Several programmes are lined up that would appeal to school and college students as well as the general public. These include public science lectures and activities like the online space-themed quiz contest and poster design and video creation events centred around the space science theme.

Besides the collaboration with Science City Kolkata, CESSI-IISER Kolkata is partnering with the National Council of Science Museums and M P Birla Planetarium for other public events.

Overall, the symposium promises to be a cracker of an event for people of various ages and backgrounds who share in the enthusiasm for space science.

The NSSS 2022 host institute, CESSI, is a multi-institutional centre that was established through funding from the Ministry of Human Resource Development and hosted by IISER Kolkata. Its core areas of research include solar science, gravitational waves, and space weather.

CESSI is notably playing a key role in the development of the Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope that will fly as a payload on board India’s first solar mission Aditya-L1.

(Check NSSS 2022 details here.)

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