AstraX

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AstraX is the inter-college Astro-Meet organized by STAC. It is the center of attraction for students and professors with an inclination towards computational and theoretical astronomy.

Outreach program

Outreach program of AstraX aims to promote basic astronomy education in schools and colleges. AstraX takes the initiative to organize workshops, movie screenings and hands-on sessions on telescope training for secondary and higher secondary school and college students, in collaboration with another well-established organization. The events in the program are highly beneficial for students as they can enjoy the science they read in textbooks through live demonstrations.
For the year 2020, the program was supported and organized by the Aryabhat Foundation, a special endeavor for the promotion of basic sciences in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
Some of the workshops conducted in the year 2020 were:

  1. Introductory Python Workshop - The Python Software Foundation (PSF) organized a Python workshop for high school students under the banner of AstraX’20. The workshop was aimed at introducing the importance of python language and astronomy using python. This workshop also concentrated on various other topics like open source and closed source development in Python, its uses in places other than astronomy, and so much more.
  2. Workshop by Aryabhat Foundation - As a part of Corporate Social Responsibility, AstraX’20 also organized a Basic Astronomy Workshop in collaboration with Aryabhat Foundation for middle school students of nearby schools. We organized film shows and solar astronomy workshops which aimed to promote astronomy education in these students and thus develop an interest in astronomy and astrophysics among them, on a basic level.

Events

Estrella

Estrella is an online blog writing competition. Participants are required to write a blog/article/essay on the theme of the event.

Shooting star

Shooting star is an online astrophotography contest.

Messier Marathon

Messier marathon is a telescope aided observational event. Participating teams must locate as many Messier objects in the night sky as possible.

Mission CanSat

This a paper presentation event. The motive of this event is to encourage the engineering of cheaper rockets and satellites that collect data, and minimize expenditure, thus boosting satellite efficiency.

Celesta

Celesta is an all night photography event. All the participants/teams have to click pictures that contain at least one astronomically significant object.

Enigma

Enigma is a five hour computational astrophysics hackathon.

Gordian knot

Gordian know is an on-site astronomy quiz.

Keynotes

The keynotes in AstraX are a panel of experienced speakers from various astronomical, astrophysical backgrounds. The panel includes people like Theorists, Radio Astronomers, Museum curators, Computational Astrophysicists and maintainers of widely used astronomy software like SunPy, PlasmaPy, etc.
The year 2020 witnessed insightful keynote talks consisting of

  • Remote Talks
    • Dr. Nick Murphy - Lead Developer, The PlasmaPy Project. Affiliated to Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
      • Title: Living in a Plasma Universe
    • Dr. Stuart Mumford - Lead Developer - The SunPy Project, Python Developer - Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope Data Centre, National Solar Observatory, United States. ***Title: SunPy: Python for Solar Physics
  • Onsite Talks
    • Prof. Avinash Deshpande - Professor at Raman Research Institute, India. Specializes in Neutron stars, Pulsars & Transients, The Galaxy and Interstellar medium, Instrumentation and Signal processing. He runs the famous SWAN project.
      • Title:Fascinating life-stories of cosmic light-houses
    • Sanjay Gupta - Founder-member of the Aryabhat Foundation, actively involved with students for more than 3 decades. He was designated as Master Resource Person by Dept. of Science and Technology, GOI in 1995. Was a member of NASA's Saturn Observation Campaign for 9 years.
      • Title: Importance of Basic Science

Workshops

  • 2020
    • Solar Astronomy Workshop- The Aryabhat foundation conducted a Solar Astronomy Workshop in the IIT Mandi campus for the participants of AstraX’20. The workshop included a one hour theory session which provided insights on the basic concepts of Solar Astronomy. This was followed by a hands-on session which was supervised by Aakash, a student from the Aryabhat Foundation. In this hands-on session, Aakash set up a telescope and demonstrated how Solar Astronomy is practiced. He also told the participants about the things to keep in mind while inspecting the various aspects of the sun through a telescope.