KU celebrates World Space Week 2021


The Institute of Space Science and Technology Karachi University organized a one-day International Conference on space science and technology on Friday to celebrate World Space Week.

The theme of World Space Week 2021 is “Women in Space”. World Space Week is celebrated annually from October 4th to 10th to create awareness about space science. The conference covered the full spectrum of space science from astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, aerospace, ionosphere, to remote sensing, global positioning system, and geographical information science. The conference was attended by a large number of students from different universities, researchers, and scholars and held at the Arts Auditorium.

The Vice Chancellor University of Karachi Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi appreciated that the ISST has taken the lead in the country for producing the necessary learned human resource for this important domain of science.

He also acknowledges the consistent collaboration of Pakistan’s national space agency, the Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission in the up-gradation of the University of Karachi’s astronomy observatory and cooperation in arranging informative events like this in the past.

The KU VC Professor Dr Khalid Iraqi hoped that hope this collaboration will go a long way in bringing awareness about the importance of space science education to the masses. “Day by day space technologies are becoming more and more important for our daily activities from the cellular network, navigation to self-driving vehicles. Now we can’t consider any aspect of development such as social, commercial, societal and cultural without any type of internet connection.”

He mentioned that space science technologies have opened a new avenue for entrepreneurs. He said that Elon Musk is the best example in this regard and encouraged the student especially students of ISST to have faith in themselves and take a step out of their comfort zone to make a difference. He appreciated the models of drones designed and operated by the students of ISST.

Meanwhile, a keynote speaker from the Department of Astronomy, University of Concepción, Chile, Dr Rafeel Riaz, during an online presentation on astrophysics talked about the role of turbulence in star formation. He informed the audience that turbulence which is explained as the violent or unsteady movement of air or some other fluid exists almost everywhere from the air we breathe, the weather we see to the surface of the Sun.

He mentioned that stars are formed in a cloud of gas and dust known as a nebula. These nebulae which are also called star nurseries seem to have turbulence too. When we compare the brightness of protostars we observe in different surveys with the brightness predicted from theoretical models we see protostars are dimmer than the models predict.

“This poses a question about disconnect of star formation theory and observation. This question can be answered in the context of astrophysical turbulence which exists at all possible scales due to supermassive black holes, supernovae explosions, etc. Simulation models incorporating the turbulence showed that gravity can drive additional turbulence which subsequently affects the velocities which then control the process of star formation.”

Another keynote speaker, Professor Dr Aquib Moin from the Department of Physics, UAE University delivered the online lecture on “Observational Astronomy” while Jawaid Qamar from ISST and Rabia Najam from the Department of Physical jointly present a paper on “Theoretically Consistent Form of Einstein Equation Resulting from Injection of Sources’ Motion in the Theory”.

Meanwhile, Engineer Absar Ahmed Khan and a visiting faculty of ISST present a paper on the “Significance of Aerodynamics” and another visiting faculty member Ayaz Amin shared his findings of “Space Weather” with the audience.

Professor Dr Jamil Hassan Kazmi Department of Geography KU shared that although the term remote sensing was coined by Evelyn Pruitt in 1949 the birth of remote sensing originated since the dawn of human civilization.

He mentioned that the curiosity of human observation of stars and pointing caravans from a mountain is started 10, 000 years ago. After the advent of computer technology in 1945 and the first satellite launched in 1957, remote sensing become a highly dynamic field and provides a foundation to the magic of geo-informatics.

He said that near remote sensing is the term used to describe the process of drone photography, started in the 2000s and rapidly replacing the conventional. A joint research paper on “Global Warming in Karachi due to Urbanization” was presented by the faculty Department of Mathematics Atteeq Razzak, M. Arbaz, M. Abdullah, M. Ahmed, Zaheer Uddin and highlighted that during the past 23-30 years, Karachi has experienced a continuous increase in average daily temperature due to global warming issue and an average rise of 4-6 percent in annual temperature has been recorded.

According to them, the main reasons for this rise could be an increase in cementation and reduction in grassy areas due to unplanned construction in this city. To verify this statement a simulated experiment of solar heat energy in the environment of Karachi was developed. The activity was carried out in open space and covered area. The result indicates that the heat energy that persists in the environment has increased due to cementation and reduction in the green area.

Jahanzaib Alam Ghori and Hira Fatima of the ISST shared their research paper on “Carbon Sequestration Analysis of Karachi University using a GIS approach” while Salman Kausar, Muhib Ahmed, Hira Fatima from the ISST presented the paper on “Morphological Indices of Horizontal Branch and Intrinsic Properties of Globular Cluster”.

A research paper on “Measuring the Impact of Solar Activity on Telecommunication Networks” was jointly presented by M. Shafiq, Faisal Ur Rahman, M. Jawed Iqbal, and Qasid Ahmed Aleem and Syed Tanveer Iqbal of the ISST shared their research paper on “Analyzing the suitability of visible band classical cepheids to map the Milky Way” with the audience.

Syed Moeed Hussain, Semrah Jamal, and Absar Ahmed Khan from the ISST shared the findings of their paper on “Effects of Gurney flap on High lift low Reynolds on Wortmann FX 63-137 Aerofoil using CFD techniques”.

Earlier, Hira Fatima, Secretary of the Conference Organizing Committee, talked about the Women in Space and highlighted that females from computer engineers and mathematicians played a very important role to put men on the Moon.

She mentioned that the first woman went to space in 1963 and until now 65 women have gone in space as, cosmonauts, astronauts, payload specialists, and space station participants. Due to the research work, women have been doing on the international space station since 2001 they have become a crucial part of the space station research program. Taking into account the contribution of women in space exploration National Aeronautics and Space Administration has decided to land the first woman and next man to Moon in 2024.

The Convener Conference and the Director Professor Dr M. Jawed Iqbal ISST talked about the importance of space science and technology in the development of any nation. He shared his views on the role of the ISST in promoting space science education and research in Pakistan. Further, he informed the audience about the participation of ISST students in several national and international competitions and events. He mentioned that the ISST has produced 21 PhD to date.

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