About us

What is CosmicVarta?

Astronomy is truly a global subject. The boundaries between the nations, people, ethnicities do not exist for astronomers. We all think of the entire humankind as one. Hence, it becomes necessary and a responsibility for professional astronomers to present a platform where the authentic research being carried out is presented and discussed in language which a non-expert individual can understand. Moreover, while high quality research is communicated through the reputed journals, the students who are not dealing with the subject on a day to day basis might find it difficult to grasp. We thought over this problem and came up with CosmicVarta as an online platform where we simplify the current astronomical research being carried out so that people from every background can grasp the essence of the results. CosmicVarta is intended to be a portal where the current research is presented in a simplified way and subsequently discussed by people so that everyone can have a glimpse into the exciting world of astronomical research. Through this portal, we will present reviews of recently published articles, interviews with the eminent scientists working in the field of astronomy and astrophysics all over India and also serve as a platform to discuss the research in a simplified manner. Research in astronomy is pursued at only a handful of research institutes, hence prospective students may often find it challenging to find relevant information. Through this portal you may find information regarding the various career options available, various positions available at astronomy institutes in India and other related information. This portal will also serve as an information hub regarding various softwares and databases that are available to be used by the public for free. We can even help students who are looking for short term projects using such a huge volume of data by connecting with the scientists working actively in that area of research. Come join us on a journey which will take you to the wonderful world of stars, galaxies and beyond; and feel enthralled by unlocking the keys to the mysteries of the universe which the scientists are doing on a daily basis.

Who are we?

We are a group of enthusiastic young researchers, mostly PhD scholars in astrophysics, who wish to make available lndian astronomy research to all interested minds. We keep a track of recent research papers published by lndian astronomers. Their works are written in simple language and published for others to read, understand, enjoy and perhaps motivate them to pursue astronomy research in the future.

Allow us to introduce ourselves :)

Lakshitha Nama

Hello. My name is Lakshitha Nama. I am a PhD student at Christ (Deemed to be University). My PhD research aims at understanding the relationship between magnetic field and the elemental abundances in the outer atmosphere of Sun and other main sequence stars. I make use of imaging and spectroscopic data from X-ray telescopes. My hobbies including reading and painting.

Ketan Rikame

I am a PhD student at CHRIST (Deemed to be University). Field of Instrumentation has always fascinated me and it has been my primary research interest. However, while working with various astronomy instruments, I also got interested in learning about the underlying physical phenomenon these instruments try to study. I have previously worked in optical and radio instrumentation. I am currently part of the instrumentation team at RRI and we are building an X-ray polarimeter approved to be launched on ISRO’s dedicated satellite mission XPOSAT. I also study accretion powered pulsars which will be one of the primary scientific targets of our X-RAY polarimeter. I am very much interested in science popularization. Although not involved in any such activity right now, I love to talk to people about my research (and not bore them hopefully). I love to listen/read about fascinating research other researchers are doing. I also love football!

Vishal Upendran

Hi there! I am Vishal Upendran, graduate student at the Inter University Centre For Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune. I have been studying various aspects of the Sun as a part of my thesis. In particular, I am focused on the dynamics of the solar atmosphere, the solar wind and its interaction with the Earth. Apart from physics, I also love machine/deep learning, information theory and the interface of computation and neuroscience. I generally spend my free time reading books - especially on proto/pre history and popular science texts. While not reading, I like going for long walks/runs, cooking and watching anime!

Shridharan Baskaran

Hi all. I am Shridharan Baskaran, Ph.D. student at CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore. Right from my school days, I’ve been fascinated by the outer space, which led me directly into astrophysics research. I’m currently working on spectroscopic studies of high mass pre-main sequence stars. My research will help in understanding the circumstellar environment around these young stars. I love going on long motorcycle rides, playing board games, and cooking.

Robin Thomas

Hello there! My name is Robin Thomas. I am a PhD student at CHRIST (Deemed to be University). My PhD research aims at understanding the role of interaction in the evolution of galaxies. My research makes use of photometric data from different telescopes. You will find me reading John Grisham and Michael Crichton books outside the office hours. I also love to go on long treks, cycling and cafe hopping.

Arpit Kumar Shrivastav

I am a PhD student at Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital and the Joint Astronomy Programme (JAP) of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. My research revolves around observational aspects of Magnetohydrodynamics waves in the solar atmosphere and their relation to coronal heating. I love to play table tennis and badminton. I watch web series and anime in my free time.

Akhil Jaini

Hey there! I am Akhil Jaini, currently pursuing my PhD from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics. I have been fascinated by the stars and space since as long as I can remember, and I wanted to be an astronomer ever since I knew the meaning of that word! Being from an engineering background, I started my journey in astronomy through instrumentation, and have been slowly meddling more and more in the physics side of things. I have worked on developing antennas for radio astronomy, followed by designing spectrographs for ultraviolet space telescopes. Currently, I am working on reimaging existing and future spectrographs with a focus on exoplanet transits. Other than that, I love writing, photography, travelling and riding motorcycles.

Rishabh Singh Teja

I am a researcher at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru. I am working on the observations (photometry and spectroscopy) and 1-D modeling of core-collapse supernovae. Being a sports enthusiast, I play many games indoors and outdoors. I am in constant pursuit of learning and indulging in new things.

“Let the fruit of science reach every individual.”

Sadaf Iqbal Ansari

Hello! My name is Sadaf Iqbal Ansari. Currently, I am a research assistant, working on a project to study storm time radiation belt dynamics using multi-point observation for solar cycle 24, at the University of Nizwa, Oman. When I am not working, I challenge my existential ennui by reading Kurt Vonnegut and Ayn Rand, to name a few. I also like to photograph nature.

Srinivas M Rao

I am a PhD student at Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital. My research is on cataclysmic variables and the accretion mechanisms involved with it. In my free time, I enjoy playing various games such as badminton, reading books, and have an immense love for anime. I am an avid reader and enjoy immersing myself in different worlds through books. My love for anime allows me to explore new cultures and perspectives.

Himansh Rathore

Hi ! My name is Himansh Rathore, and I am a PhD student at the Department of Astronomy & Steward Observatory, University of Arizona. My research falls under the broad categories of galaxy evolution and cosmology. Currently, I am focussing on building state-of-the-art hydrodynamic models for explaining the interactions between the satellite galaxies of the Milky Way. Outside of Astronomy, I enjoy trekking, playing sports, playing music and also breaking and fixing things (like my bicycle)! For more information, please visit my website.


We thank the Astronomical Society of India (ASI) for supporting our initiative as a part of their golden anniversary celebrations (#ASI50). We would like to mention Vivek Kumar Jha from Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Gourav Banerjee from CHRIST (Deemed to be University) and Anusha Ravikumar from the University of Western Ontario, for their valuable inputs regarding the website from the time the idea for CosmicVarta was conceived and Suman Bhattacharyya from CHRIST (Deemed to be University) for designing the beautiful logo of CosmicVarta.