Indian Centre for Space Physics
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The Indian Centre for Space Physics is an Indian non-profit research organisation dedicated to carrying out advanced research in astronomy, astrophysics and space science. It is a sister institute of the University of Calcutta. It is located in the southern part of the city of Kolkata. Its new campus is being built on Eastern metropolitan bypass behind Metro Cash and Carry. Its Ionospheric and Earthquake Research Centre (IERC) where a 24-inch optical telescope is being installed there. School and college students regularly carry out sky watching using its 10-inch telescope.
There are currently three branches at several places in West Bengal where people working in different fields of astrophysics: Malda, Coochbehar, and Midnapore.
Faculties and departments
ICSP has four major departments working on several branches of astrophysics and related subjects.
Instrumentation for Space Exploration
Space exploration by means of balloon borne detectors is the main concern of this department. ICSP has pioneered in this field of low cost exploration of near earth space using light weight payloads on board weather balloons. In the course of the experiments ICSP payloads has visited the space more than 100 times and has gathered a multitude of data from extraterrestrial radiation sources, atmospheric radiation data due to cosmic ray interactions and other atmospheric data. These data has provided new understandings about the cosmic radiation sources as well as the radiation effects on the earth atmosphere.
Astrochemistry and astrobiology
The main research activities of this department includes study on solar-terrestrial environment including solar disturbances, Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere, thermosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere etc. Peoples also work on seismo-ionospheric precursors, lithosphere-atmosphere-ionosphere coupling processes, long-term and transient solar activity and ionospheric climatology using both ground and space based VLF receiver. Monitoring of galactic X-ray transients, Soft Gamma ray Repeaters (SGRs) and Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) etc. are also active research topic in this department.
High energy astrophysics
This department mainly deals with Black Hole astrophysics. There are two branches of black hole astrophysics: Theoretical and Observational.
Activities and Collaborations
ICSP is collaborating with several national and international institutions and universities. It is a member of Erasmus Mundus joint PhD programme in astronomy funded by European Union. Several of its scientists have been trained at ICTP (The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics), Italy. Scientist from ICSP has been taken part in the Antarctica expeditions. In the balloon borne science mission, this institute has been visited the near space for more than 100 times.