A team of scientists led by an Odia born astronomer Kailash Sahu in the US has directly measured the mass of a star for the first time using principles of Albert Einstein’s century-old theory that says gravity bends light.
The team led by Sahu observed a white dwarf star known as Stein 2051B located about 17 light years from the Earth just as it passed in front of a more distant star. Before finalizing on the white dwarf star, Sahu and his colleagues searched more than 5,000 stars for the right alignment that would help them weigh a star.
Kailash Chandra Sahu and his team at the Space Telescope Science Institute used the Hubble Space Telescope and calculated the mass of a white dwarf star is about 68 percent of the Sun’s.
Odisha’s Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik posted on Facebook saying “The revolutionary breakthrough was achieved by an astronomer hailing from our own state, Odisha. Kailash Sahu was born in Bellagam village of Ganjam district, which did not even have electricity when he was a child. He studied in the village school and his village saw electricity for the first time when he was 12 years old or in Class VII. From there he went to Berhampur University, IIT Kharagpur, and prominent universities abroad, finally becoming a NASA leader in new space discovery.”
Source – The Telegraph