|Astronomy is the branch of physics that studies celestial objects and the universe as a whole. Astronomy studies celestial objects and phenomena, while Astrophysics studies the physics of the universe. The evolution of the universe is one of the key study areas of modern astronomy and astrophysics.
Astronomers measure and examine cosmic radiation, develop theoretical models for phenomena observed, and simulate some of these physical processes on advanced computers.
Members of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Group are currently engaged in research into the understanding of events in the evolving universe and a variety of phenomena associated with cosmic bodies: the evolution in the gas during the epoch of reionization, the nature and composition of the gaseous medium in galaxies at high redshifts, in clusters of galaxies at high redshift, in galaxy groups, in galaxies – normal, active and low-surface-brightness galaxies – in the present era. The phenomenological studies target the enigmatic and amazingly energetic gamma ray bursts, giant pulses from pulsars, recurrent active galaxies, X-ray binaries, hydroxyl and methanol maser sites and sources, and photon-dominated regions of the interstellar medium. Theoretical advances include understanding of specialised issues like strong MHD turbulence, the interaction between galaxies and their environments, nonmodular topological phase shifts and other effects arising in propagation of polarized light, and unsolved problems associated with neutron stars, magnetars, and strange stars.
The telescopes and receivers developed and built in the Electronics Laboratory provide vital observational clues for this research. However, the Institute’s facilities cover only a part of the electromagnetic spectrum. A holistic investigation of space phenomena often requires observing capabilities not available in India, therefore, the astronomers of the Institute propose and successfully win the use of valuable observing time on facilities across the world.