Is there life anywhere else in the vast cosmos? Are there planets similar to the Earth? For centuries, these questions baffled the curious mind of human being because either the positive or the negative answer, if found any day, would carry a deep philosophy to our very existence in the universe. Although the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence was initiated decades ago, a systematic scientific and global quest towards achieving a convincing answer began in 1995 with the discovery of the first confirmed planet orbiting around a solar type star - 51 Pegasi. Since then, astronomers have discovered so many exoplanets of different varieties that our knowledge and understanding about planets have been revolutionized and we are possibly on the verge of getting an answer. During the last two decades, about 3000 extra-solar planets have been discovered. The discovery of a variety of exoplanets and planetary systems has not only revealed that there exist planets about 10 times heavier than Jupiter but also put the solar system in a unique status. While we know well about the five kinds of planets in our solar system, the discovery of at least 18 kinds of extra-solar planets poses great puzzle regarding the physical properties, atmospheric chemistry, internal geology etc. Scientists of various countries have been active in discovering these exoplanets by using ground as well as space bound telescopes and sophisticated instruments. Extensive theoretical work and numerical modeling of the evolution scenario of these exoplanets have revolutionized our concept on planetary science.


In spite of the growing interest and motivation, the subject in India remains confined to only a few researchers. The proposed symposium aims to:

  1. Discuss the current state of research in the field of exoplanets,
  2. Discuss possible programs in India (observational, theoretical and space),
  3. Bring attention to Indian researchers towards this fascinating field of research and generate interest among young graduate students and faculty members to undertake theory and observational projects related to research on exoplanets,
  4. Identify collaborative work and initiate collaboration.

NOTE: Participation by invitation only.