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 4000 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 modelling of the evolution scenario of these exoplanets have revolutionized our concept on planetary science.

A national symposium jointly with ISAC (ISRO) was organised by IIA at its Kodaikanal Observatory during October 07-08, 2016 wherein a large number of researchers working on related fields extensively discussed on the use of India’s observational facilities for pursuing research on the various aspects of Exoplanets. In continuation of this symposium Indian Institute of Astrophysics will organise an international symposium during January 07-09, 2019 at its Bangalore campus that aims to

  • Discuss the current state of research in the field
  • The results obtained using existing National facilities
  • To exchange expertise and facilities and expand collaboration among researchers of India and University College, London

The main purpose is to motivate and channelize the interest among the Indian students and researchers on the subject in order to initiate major collaborative activities and to develop instrumental projects related to research on exoplanets.

Participation is by invitation

Convenor: Sujan Sengupta

Scientific Organising Committee

  • Abhijit Chakrabarty
  • G. C. Anupama
  • Giovanni Tinetti
  • K. Sankarasubramanyam
  • Marcell Tessenyi
  • Sujan Sengupta

Local Organising Committee

  • Aritra Chakrabarty
  • Gajendra Pandey
  • Maheswar Gopinathan (Chair)
  • Ravinder Banyal
  • Rekhesh Mohan
  • T. Sivarani