Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, an Indian-American astrophysicist made it possible for NASA to launch its mission to send a satellite to the sun after he intervened in a research paper proposing the existence of solar winds to get published 60 years ago.
The Parker Solar Probe, which is named after Dr Eugene Newman Parker was lifted off on 12 August from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Source

Chandrasekhar, who was the editor of a reputed science journal sixty years ago, intervened Dr Parker and allowed him to publish his paper on Solar winds. Dr Parker was just a budding astrophysicist at that time and with his work now, NASA is all set to explore the region of the Sun that can only be seen from Earth when the Moon blocks it out during total solar eclipses (also known as corona).

Back in 1958, when Dr Parker proposed a theory that the charged particles streamed continuously from the Sun and fill up space, the other scientists gave a deaf ear.
“When he submitted his paper detailing his theory to the Astrophysical Journal, the most prominent research journal of the field, it was rejected twice by two different reviewers who were asked to provide opinions,” Dr Dibyendu Nandi, an associate professor at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata, told Press Trust of India (PTI).
Chandrasekhar also has his name tagged to a space mission called NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Source

He also holds the 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics with William A Fowler for studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars.
“Eugene Parker had the vision to recognise the possibilities discussed in my thesis, and the magnanimity to write a glowing review of a thesis for an unknown student from a far away country — a PhD thesis that contradicted one of his own theories,” said Nandi, who is also the chairman of the Working Group on Solar-Stellar Environments of the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Source

“I have learnt a very important lesson of my professional scientific career from him: to be generous to the ideas of others, as long as they are not obviously wrong, and even if they contradict my own personal views,” he added.
The entire mission cost around $1.5 billion and will perform the closest-ever observations of the corona, a star. The car-sized spacecraft will be more than seven times closer than any spacecraft has reached the Sun’s atmosphere, all credits given to its Thermal Protection System.

Share your opinion