Straight out of a dusty small town called Bargarh, located in the western border of the eastern state of Odisha in India, I am currently a doctoral candidate in the sub-millimeter astronomy department of the Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn, Germany.
I got a first taste of radioastronomy during my bachelor studies. It was during the summer of 2013 when I did a summer internship at the National Institute of Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) in Pune, India. I worked with HI 21cm data from three very special kinds of galaxies at high-redshift (fancy term we astronomers like to use for extremely large distances, but it also means we are looking back in time!) obtained using the Green Bank Telescope located in the US. These galaxies have extremely large amounts of neutral hydrogen (aka stellar fuel). We study these to get a clue on how current day galaxies formed. That summer got me hooked on radioastronomy!
Afterwards I moved to Bonn, Germany where I studied my masters at the Bonn Cologne Graduate School for Physics and Astronomy. During my masters I worked at the MPIfR trying to understand how the death remains of massive stars (called supernova remnants) chemically enrich their surroundings with complex molecules. We detected thermal emission of methanol for the first time ever from a supernova remnant interacting with the surrounding ISM.
My journey in astronomy then continued into a PhD at MPIfR. I was given the responsibility to lead a new galaxy wide survey of Carbon Monoxide (CO) in the Milky Way. For those who are wondering why CO, it is because CO is known to exist wherever there is neutral hydrogen (H2) in the ISM. So if we see CO, we know there is hydrogen (which notoriously is not detectable) and can then study the property of this cold neutral gas that makes up all the stars we see up in the night sky. A brand new 7 pixel receiver called LAsMA had been recently installed on the APEX telescope in Chile and I got to use it to carry out a pathfinder study to this new survey, which we now call LASMAGAL. Alongside this I also used a part of the survey data on a Giant Molecular Cloud we astronomers like to call G305, to investigate the impace giant stars have on their surrounding gas. G305 has over 50 giant stars that are impacting the gas present in their surroundings: the gas that can potentially form new stars! We investigated whether the formation of these new stars is being sped up or slowed down by the existing stars in their neighborhood. If you wanna know about our findings, have a look at my papers.
Well I am not all stars and galaxies. I also enjoy things down here on this planet we live on. I love bouldering, singing, music, reading, cooking, movies, playing Dungeons and Dragons, travelling, meeting new people and hearing their stories.