The Department of Physics organized a two day workshop on Astronomical data analysis - St. Xavier's College

The Department of Physics, St. Xavier’s College Mapusa Goa, organized a two days’ workshop on Astronomical data analysis from 16th to 17th , February 2019. The resource person for the workshop was Dr. Vithal Tilvi, an Astronomer from School of Earth & Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona USA. This workshop was organized by Dr. Reshma Raut Dessai, with the objective  of learning how to download data from space telescope, data treatment and analysis. The workshop was attended by 44 participants which included students from Chowgule College, Goa Engineering college, Goa University, IIT Goa, PES College Farmagudi, St. Xavier’s College and some astronomy enthusiasts. During the inaugural session held on 16th February, the Principal of St. Xavier’s College, Fr. (Dr.) Jeronimo D’Silva extended warm welcome to all the participants of the workshop and expressed his appreciation towards the Department of Physics for conducting such a rare and unique workshop in Astronomy. The coordinator of the Workshop, Dr. Reshma Raut Dessai introduced the speaker Dr. Vithal Tilvi and highlighted his achievements in the field of astronomy. She said that during his post-doctoral research work at Texas A&M University, Dr. Tilvi along with his two colleagues discovered a farthest known galaxy in the universe with spectroscopic redshift of 7.51 by using a 10-meter Keck telescope. This galaxy had formed merely 700 Million years after the Big Bang. This is one of the biggest discoveries of the present century. The inaugural function ended with the vote of thanks proposed by the Head of the department of Physics Mr. Pradeep Morajkar.

The workshop started with the brief introductory session on astronomy by Dr. Reshma Raut Dessai. This was followed by the first presentation on the universe by Dr. Tilvi consisting of interesting facts and mysteries about the distant stars and galaxies. After testing all the laptops, software such as Python and image viewer ds9 required for analysis were loaded. Aim of the first practical session was to open fit files in image viewer, combine it with RGB filter and provide colour images. Dr. Tilvi very patiently explained the participants to locate positions in the sky in terms of right ascension and declination and also to find the distance between any two stars or galaxies.

On the second day participants learned how to get data and spectrum of galaxies, download fits files and using Python code plot the intensity vs wavelength. This workshop was arranged with the aim of understanding various aspects of data analysis so that one can individually work on astronomical data. The site that was used to collect data was Sloan sky analyzer. Participants with full zeal and enthusiasm enjoyed the data analysis workshop. They also learned how to write publication based on analysis. This workshop has enriched the knowledge of participants and enhanced their skill of spectroscopic data analysis. During workshop there was constructive and imaginative discussion among all. Dr. Tilvi answered all the questioned poised by the students very patiently.

In the short valedictory programme, the participants expressed their gratitude towards the organizer’s and the resource person for conducting such a unique workshop in Goa for amateur astronomers. The chief guest, Fr. Luis Gomes appreciated the enthusiasm of participants and Dr. Tilvi. The head of the department of Physics, Mr. Pradeep Morajkar appreciated Dr. Tilvi and Dr. Reshma’s effort in sussesfully conducting this workshop at St. Xavier’s College.

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