XXXIV Meeting of
Astronomical Society of India
10-13 May 2016


During 34th Meeting of Astronomical Society of India, 2 workshops will be organized on 9th May 2016, Monday , Registered participants(who have paid registration fee) can attend this, each workshop can have maximum of 50 participants and that will be decided by the organizers of workshop.

Registration form to attend these workshop is closed now, the deadline was 15th March 2016 . Please find more details about workshops below :-

Title of workshop: Tools and trends in high resolution optical spectroscopy

Please visit the link for updated Program by workshop organizers

Workshop Details: The aim of this proposal is two-fold:
  • To bring together instrument builders, observers and modellers who deal with high resolution spectroscopy to form a working group that would contribute to the science and development of the 2 nd generation TMT high resolution spectrograph (HRS) and other similar efforts within the country (e.g. high-res spectrograph for Devastal optical telescope)
  • To introduce and familiarize young researchers and PhD students to the tools of high resolution precision spectroscopy using the recently developed high resolution spectrographs in the country (e.g.VBT echelle, PARAS at Mt. Abu and HESP at IAO Hanle) and prepare them ready for the future facilities

Background & Objective:

Given the long tradition of our country in the field of high resolution spectroscopy, it will be of great interest for us to make significant contribution to the development and science aspects of TMT-HRS. ASI offers the best possible forum for community explorations: bringing experts in the area of astronomical instrumentation, data calibration and modelling and efficiently integrate the technical expertise from the universities on one forum.

Recent advancements in the field of exoplanets and estimation of fundamental constants at high redshifts has pushed the limits in building and calibrating high resolution spectrographs. Similarly, modeling the spectroscopic data has also improved due to the better 3D models of stellar atmospheres and constraints from asteroseismology. These inputs helped in estimating accurate stellar parameters and chemical abundances in probing planet signature and isotopic abundances of primordial chemical elements.

During the workshop we propose to review

  1. The recent high resolution optical spectrographs in the country.
  2. Science, design and calibration aspects of precision spectroscopy
  3. Design choices for TMT-HRS and science capabilities
  4. Training sessions on observing with HESP, data reduction and calibration
The workshop will highlight the challenges in reaching the required precision in the spectro-photometric calibration in the area of exoplanet atmospheres, chemical abundances and precision radial velocities.

Expected outcome of the workshop:

Learn/understand the tools and trades of current high resolution spectroscopic studies. Increase the user community and efficient use of HESP. Workshop on this topic in a large forum like ASI will benefit from the expertise from universities, especially in the area of optics and instrumentation and form focused working groups that can participate in the development of future high resolution spectrographs (e.g. TMT-HRS) and follow up studies within the country.

Tentative schedule and list of speakers:

Title of the talk Speaker Time
Current trends in designing high resolution optical spectrographs and design choices for TMT-HRSK. Sankarasubramaniam9:30 - 9: 55
Extra galactic science with TMT-HRS (requirements for HRS)Srianand9:55 - 10:20
Precision calibration for fundamental constantsHum Chand10:20 - 10:40
TMT-HRS stellar scienceAruna Goswami10:40 - 11: 00
Tea break 11:00-11:30
3D stellar modelsRajaguru11:30 - 11:45
PARAS – Precision RV instrumentAbhjit Chakraborthy11:45 - 12:05
Iodine cell calibration at VBTEchelleGajendra Pandey12:05 - 12:20
Fibers and issues of precision spectrophotometryRam/Mudit12:20 - 12:40
References for precision wavelength calibration: Laser combs and etalonsRavi Banyal12:40 - 13:00
Lunch break 13:00 – 14:00
HESP overview and scienceSunetra Giridhar14:00 - 14:20
Calibrating HESP data, strategies to reduce systematicsSivarani14:20 - 14:35
HESP data pipeline: modelling and simulationsHESP postdoc14:35 - 15:00
Discussions/Tea break 15:00 - 16:00
HESP HandsonHESP team16:00 - 17:00


  • HESP -observing user interface
  • HESP data pipeline
  • HESP – early science results
  • TMT-HRS prototype

For the hands on session:
Laptop with linux OS and IRAF & python installed along with scipy, numpy, pyfits, matplotlib

Additional information for the participants:
Overview of HESP instrument specifications and design: TMT high resolution spectrograph:

Scientific Organising CommitteeSunetra Giridhar (Chair), R. Srianand, Annapurni Subramaniam, G.C. Anupama, Abhjit Chakraborthy, Devendra Ojha, Aruna Goswami, Gajendra Pandey, Maheswar Gopinathan, K. Sankarasubramanium
Local Organising committeeT. Sivarani, Ravi Banyal, Shyama Narendranth, S.P. Rajaguru, Lalitha Sairam, Hema, Susmitha Rani
Title of workshop: Big Data in Astronomy

Please visit the link for updated Program and other details by workshop organizers

Workshop Details:

Data Science has fast become an important discipline in its own right. Astronomy has always had big data, typically a step ahead of many other fields. The complexity of data - multiple instruments, wavelengths, as well as the need to process data quickly, often in real-time, make the challenges even more interesting.

The following are some of the Big Data related initiatives already underway in India: (1) IUCAA holds CRTS images+catalogs and has joined LSST, (2) IUCAA has a Big Data grant approved by NKN, (3) IUCAA will soon have a Tier 2 LIGO Data Center, (4) NCRA now has uGMRT and is leading the SKA science and engineering effort from the Indian side.

Background & Objective:

Through this short workshop, we aim to introduce various aspects of Big Data in Astronomy to students and senior practitioners alike. We will have the following four 45-minute talks during the workshop:

  1. Ajit Kembhavi : Big Astro projects in India and Big Data
  2. N Sajeeth Philip : Intro to Big Data frameworks with an emphasis on Hadoop.
  3. Yogesh Wadadekar : Tips and techniques for using data archives for science with an emphasis on GMRT
  4. Ashish Mahabal : Signal from Noise: Effective combining and learning from diverse datasets

In addition, we will also have (1) an open discussion on data challenges faced by the big data projects in which India is involved e.g. Astrosat, SKA, LSST, LIGO etc. The goal of the discussion will be to identify common problems and discuss strategies for collaborative solutions to these problems. (2) Demonstration and tutorials for some of the tools (e.g. Python’s scikit-learn and AstroPy). These will come with datasets that one can play with as well as having projects ideas lasting from a month to a year.

The workshop will be limited to 50 participants. Introductory knowledge of Python is essential to follow the tutorials.

Tentative schedule:

09:00 Opening remarks
09:15Ajit Kembhavi: Big Astro projects in India and Big Data
10:00N Sajeeth Philip: Intro to Big Data frameworks with an emphasis on Hadoop
10:45Posters and Tea
11:15 Yogesh Wadadekar: Tips and techniques for using data archives for science with an emphasis on GMRT
12:00 Ashish Mahabal: Signal from Noise: Effective combining and learning from diverse datasets
12:45 Discussion: Open discussion on data challenges faced by the big data projects
13:15 Lunch
14:30 Demo/Tutorial 1: Python’s scikit-learn for Machine Learning with Big Data
15:30 Demo/Tutorial 2: Python’s astropy for more diverse Big Data related tasks
16:30 Posters and Tea
17:00 Discussion: Wrap-up and next steps

Important Dates

Abstract Submission Deadline
7th Jan 2016 (Closed)

Communication of Abstract Acceptances
31st Jan 2016

Early Registration Deadline (closed now with Regular Payment)
8th March 2016

Workshop Registration Deadline
15th March 2016 (Closed)

Hotel Booking Deadline
31st March 2016