STAC

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STAC
STAClogo.png
ActivitiesStar gazing, group discussions, talks, trips to observatories
FoundedMarch 5th 2012
Founder(s)Gurbir Singh, Diler Savla
Adviser(s)Dr. Arnav Bhavsar
Websitestac.iitmandi.co.in
Contactstac@students.iitmandi.ac.in
Under SGYes

STAC is a club where one can explore every corner of the technical knowledge they have! The club enables students to not only enhance their knowledge about the different aspects related to astronomy and astrophysics but also use the technologies available to develop their skills that will help them in future. The club was founded by Gurbir Singh and Diler Salva on 5th March 2012. Its activities include observing astronomical objects and bodies, organizing talks about astronomy and astrophysics, doing projects related to space technology. The club organizes two major fests in an academic year: Astrax, an inter-college astro-meet and Zenith, an intra-college astronomy fest. There are various discussions, quizzes, talks, hackathons that STAC organizes throughout the year.

Vision: The vision of the club is to become self sufficient so that in the coming future, we discover new celestial bodies, publish research papers, participate and win inter-college events, be a part of the projects by leading organisations in the field of astronomy (NASA, ISRO, ESA etc) and much more.

Activities

The activities that form an integral part of the club include:

  • We observe various deep-sky objects through telescopes from places around the campus and places like Diana Park and Parashar Lake to observe the night sky.
  • Sessions that would help improve students’ understanding of astronomy and astrophysics.
  • Organising talks by eminent scientists.
  • Floating projects that would cover different fields of engineering including mechanics, electronics , robotics and computer science(e.g. Building telescope, making star-tracker, developing club’s website, etc.)
  • Conducting group discussions to put forth our views on some topics that have baffled humans for long.
  • Organising crash courses for the students to help them learn basic concepts of this field.
  • Making trips to observatories to understand the functionality of equipment used in astronomical observations.

History

The club was founded on 5th March, 2012 by Gurbir Singh and Diler Salva, who were also the first coordinators. It was first called the Astronomy Club, IIT Mandi and was then renamed to IIT Mandi Astros and eventually came to be know as the Space Technology and Astronomy Cell (STAC), IIT Mandi. The first project of the club was building a 5" telescope and over the years we have taken up various projects like Star Tracker, Starlex, Orbital Simulator etc. Some of the ongoing projects of the club are SATLABS (balloon satellite), extraterrestrial rover and building a 12" telescope. The first club room was Nebula (G1-101) in the South Campus and now the club has shifted to Gravity (SAC-001) in the North Campus. In 2018, the first edition of the annual intra-college Astro-fest was organized with various exciting events like Aurora- paper presentation event, Astro Hackweek- a week long hackathon, Pandora's Box- quiz based on astronomy and many interesting talks. The following year, we had organized the first edition of the inter-college Astro-Meet, Astrax.

Fests

AstraX

AstraX, the inter-college Astro-Meet of Indian Institute of Technology Mandi, is the center of attraction for students and professors with an inclination towards computational and theoretical astronomy. The first edition of AstraX was organised in 2019. Various keynotes, events, discussions are organized throughout the duration of the astro-meet.

Zenith

Zenith is the annual intra-college Astro-fest organized in odd semester with many exciting events like Aurora- paper presentation event, Astro Hackweek- a week long hackathon, Pandora's Box- quiz based on astronomy, interesting talks and prizes. Its first edition was organized in 2018.

Utkarsh

Utkarsh is the intra-college technical fest of IIT Mandi. STAC organizes some events in the fest every year.

Events

STAC organizes two events in Utkarsh- Intra College Tech-fest that has a commendable participation of students.

  • Curiosity

Curiosity is the Astro-quiz which deals with the concepts of astronomy, cosmology and astrophysics. The objective of the event is to inculcate curiosity regarding application of science in astronomy.

  • What's Up

What's Up is related to observational astronomy. It comprises of three rounds:

  1. First round: Participants are supposed to identify few objects in the sky.
  2. Second round: Participants need to align the object through a telescope.
  3. Third round: Participants had to answer a few questions related to astronomy.

Projects

SATLABS: An ambitious plan to make own blimp satellite which can send various observational data of at least Mandi district, do image processing, DL, etc. on that data.

Extraterrestrial Rover: The club will try to build a rover which can be used for extraterrestrial data collection. It would be first tested on hills of Kamand.

12" Telescope: A 12" Telescope is under construction. The club has already made it's body and is about to start with mount. The challenge is to make it automatic.

Starlex: A project to model stellar evolution.

Star Tracker: A software for tracking any star, planet or deep sky objects.

Club Inventory: An inventory management system for the club

Events

Pleiades

Pleiades is a series of astrothons organized by STAC through out the year. Each astrothon is named after the seven stars of Pleiades.

KPL Astrothon

STAC organizes AstroThon in the Kamand Premier League. The competition has astronomy and astrophysics related problems that are supposed to be solved using programming. The motive of AstroThon is to introduce students to different aspects of astronomy and how different near to real life problems can be solved with astrophysics. The questions are on astrometry, relativistic time dilation, Satellite motion, etc.

Quasar Desk AstroQuiz

The conducted their first ever online AstroQuiz on 8 April 2020. The questions were mostly on solar physics, Quasars, planets, stellar evolution and black holes.

Introductory Remote Telescope Astrophotography

For the year 2020, the club introduced students to Armchair astrophotography or remote telescope observations, as it was not possible to conduct telescope sessions due to lockdown. Students were allotted targets to be observed using Micro-Observatory NASA service. After requesting for the given target, they downloaded the FITS files and extracted images out of them. Various filters and exposure times were tried out to achieve better image representation of the respective heavenly body.

Achievements

During it's journey from the head of founder to present community, STAC continues to scale the heights. Few of its achievements, i.e. achievements by present/past members of STAC are listed below.

EinsteinPy

EinsteinPy is an open source pure Python package dedicated to problems arising in General Relativity and gravitational physics, such as geodesics plotting for Schwarzschild, Kerr and Kerr Newman space-time model, calculation of Schwarzschild radius, calculation of Event Horizon and Ergosphere for Kerr space-time. Its codebase is available at its GitHub repository.

MiraPy

MiraPy is a Python package for Deep Learning in Astronomy. It is built using Keras for developing ML models to run on CPU and GPU seamlessly. The aim is to make applying machine learning techniques on astronomical data easy for astronomers, researchers and students. Source code for this package is available at its GitHub repository.

Inter IIT Tech Meet

2018
Bronze Medal in Star Cluster Identifier hackathon, Inter IIT Tech Meet 2018
2017
Exoplanet-Detection, Inter IIT Tech Meet 2017
Orbital-Simulator, 5th place in Inter IIT Tech Meet 2017

Functioning

Selection Process

STAC is an open club, hence, there is no selection process to be a part of the club. Enthusiastic students can be a part of the club and take part in events, talks and other activities.
The selection process for STAC Coordinators and Core Team is held at the beginning of each academic year. Interested students are required to apply for their desired positions by filling a form and provide the necessary details. The next step in the selection process consists of an interview conducted by the past coordinators. The new coordinators and core members are announced at the end of the selection process.

Organizational Structure

  • Faculty Advisor
  • Coordinators
  • Core Team
  • STAC community

Alumni

Shreyas Bapat, Garvit Mathur, Navneet Sharma, Shivam Chaudhary, Bhavya Bhatt, Shishir Asthana, Gagan Deep Singh Tomar, Pawan Jangid, Swapnil Sharma, Indresh, Mohit, V. Sai Subba Rao, Aditi Mann, Nikhil Sasi Ranjan, Gopal Agarwal, Subhash Kumar, Ayush Yadav, Chandan Satyarthi, Abhinava Mishra, Subhash Kumar, Ayush Yadav, Vivek Sharma, Amod Choudhary, Jitesh Kumar Gupta, Parul Bansal, Sushimita Chaudhary, Priyansh Saxena.

Team

Coordinators:

  • Lalit Narayan Mudgal
  • Yuvraj Misra

Core Team:

  • Science communication and outreach
Devansh Kochar, Madhumita, Vedansh Gupta, Ayush Vardhan, Shubham Prajapati
  • Astrophotography and equipment
Ankit Yadav
  • Media
Anmol Bishnoi, Divyansh Mangala, Shweta Shinde
  • Open source and web development
Tushar Rao, Harnaman Kaur, Gajraj Singh Chouhan, Priyanshu Shubham

Contact

Email: stac@students.iitmandi.ac.in

Address:  Gravity, SAC-001, North Campus, IIT Mandi, Kamand (H.P.) - 175005

Social Networks

Following is a list of STAC's social media pages and groups. You are always welcome to join/follow them.

Facebook Page

Facebook Group

Instagram Handle

Youtube Channel

Twitter Handle

GitHub Organisation

Website

Blog page

AstraX

See Also