Public Lectures

Dr. Joe P. Ninan Dept. of Astronomy & Astrophysics, TIFR

Date & Time: Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 6:15 p.m.

Venue : Sky Theatre, Nehru Planetarium, Worli, Mumbai


In search of Exo-earths: Development of next generation spectrographs for discovering planets around other stars


Search for earth-like exoplanets in habitable zone (exo-earths) has been the holy grail in exoplanet astronomy research. The extreme precision radial velocity (EPRV) community have made incredible progress in building ultra-stable spectrographs for bringing down the measurable radial velocity (rv) precision to sub-m/sec. However, to detect earth-like planets around sun-like stars in earth-like orbits, we need to be able to measure radial velocities at a few cm/sec level.

For comparison, our Earth has ~9 cm/sec rv effect on our Sun.

From time to time eminent scientists and astronomers are invited to deliver public talks. These talks are generally held in the Hall of Culture of the Nehru Centre’s Discovery of India building which has a sitting capacity of 250. Over the last 35+ years, more than 100 astronomers and astrophysicists delivered lectures on astronomical topics, covering all the branches, from astronomical instrumentation to cosmology.  The list of speakers has both Indians as well as from scholars from abroad is rather long. The talks are followed by a lively question and answer session.

Some Indian stalwarts who have addressed the audience are Prof. J. V. Narlikar, Prof. Abhay Ashtekar, Prof. S. K. Kulkarni. Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe is an example of some of the non-Indians who have visited the Nehru Centre to address the general public.

Memorial Lecture  – Dr Homi Nusserwanji Sethna, the renowned scientist and former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission had been associated with Nehru Centre since 1977 and was its General Secretary for nearly a decade and a member of the Executive Committee till the end. In the memory of Dr Sethna, Nehru Centre holds an annual lecture on his birthday (24 August) in his memory.

Prof Aniket Sule Associate Professor, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE-TIFR) Mumbai

Date & Time: Saturday, April 21, 2023, at 6:15 p.m.

Venue : Sky Theatre, Nehru Centre, Worli, Mumbai


In the last couple of decades, Astronomy has been increasingly used as a tool to study the history of cultures as well as a marker of human development. Even in the Indian context, several groups have successfully shown how astronomy can be important in placing constraints on historical events and mapping the dispersal of humans in the Indian subcontinent. Let us discuss this through examples of how rigorous and evidence-based historical research can be done using astronomical tools.

Public Lectures at Nehru Planetarium
DateTitle of the TalkSpeaker/Affiliation
14 October 2023Space Science Exploration using Balloons as Suborbital Platforms Prof. Devendra K. Ojha, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research
9 September 2023The fascinating world of sub-atomic phenomena and the Higgs bosonProf. Ashutosh Kotwal, Duke University
12 August 2023Radio Astronomy: “Listening to the Cosmos”Prof. Jayaram Chengalur, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research 
8 July 2023Lunar Mission: A Journey of DiscoveriesDr Vinita Navalkar, Journal of Visualized Experiment 
9 June 2023A Career in Astronomy & Astrophysics and Latest Asteroid ResearchProf. Ranjan Gupta, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics
14 May 2023Deciphering Cosmic Dawn: Mysteries from the Invisible UniverseDr Hamsa Padmanabhan, Swiss National Science Foundation 
15 April 2023Archeoastronomy & EthnoastronomyProf. Aniket Sule, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (TIFR)

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