Sneha Pandit joins the group of PhD students at RoCS

"Stars are the driving force to the life as we know it, so to understand the origins of life, understanding stars is crucial." - Sneha Pandit

Sneha Pandit, new PhD student at RoCS, in her hometown. Credits: S. Pandit.

After her bachelor and master studies in Physics and Engineering Sciences from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhopal, Sneha Vaibhav Pandit joined the Rosseland Centre for Solar Physics (RoCS) in August 2019.

A leap in a new field

For her master's thesis, Sneha studied the phase transition from nuclear matter to quark matter at the core of neutron stars, a type of compact objects. Although her simulation-based background, Sneha stepped in a field of study new for her: observations. 

– The passion for understanding the stars is the same! Now I am very excited to work with the “actual” stars. I find it fascinating that we can efficiently observe the objects which are far away from us, says Sneha.

Sun as a model for distant stars

The Sun can be observed and studied so closely, that astronomers can treat a few stars as suns far away from us in a similar manner.

– This will help us understand the stellar structure better. And it could be a step further towards finding a solution for the coronal heating problem, comments Sneha.

Comparing full disk maps from ALMA and SDO AIA to understand the temperatures and structures of different layers of the sun. Credits: S. Pandit.

– What are you going to study?

– I want to compare solar atmospheric spectral lines from simulations and observations. Spectral lines contain a vast amount of information about the solar atmosphere, and I want to study the observable effect of accelerated particles, explains Sneha.

Comparing the observations and numerical simulations, Sneha aims to come up with a model that could shed some more light on the structure of stars in general.

Norway and RoCS: the place to be

Sneha always wanted to study in a different country for a while to have a first-hand experience of other cultures. 

– Norway has always attracted me since I came to know about the beautiful northern lights and the midnight sun. Also, the reputation of RoCS follows it everywhere. So, if I want to work on the Sun, this is the place to be!

Sneha talks about the Sun and our solar system to 8-years-old kids of a school in Oslo.

– What is your experience at the Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics so far?

– Oslo is a wonderful city! It has a nice warmth in the snow. The people here at ITA are very helpful, understanding and considerate. It is not difficult to fit in. In a few days' time this has already started to feel like home, although there are many differences, like, food, the challenging weather and the culture, confesses Sneha.

– Any expectations?

– I expect that I will become a better researcher and have interactions and associations with the great scientists in the field. This would be very influential for my career in the long run. Setting a colorful life in a big city by myself is a task in which I believe I will succeed!

Published Jan. 13, 2020 9:56 AM - Last modified Jan. 7, 2021 12:05 PM