Dr Arshia M Jacob is currently living the life of her dreams. An avid Science enthusiast from childhood, she is now a research scholar at the iconic Max Planck Society in Germany. Besides, she just won the German Astronomical Society’s award for the best research thesis.
A native of Maradu in Ernakulam district, Arshia completed BSc (Honours) in Physics from St Stephen’s College, Delhi. In the second year, she associated with the PSLV Project at the ISRO, as part of her internship. This drew her to astronomy.
After completing degree in 2015, Arshia did her post-graduation at the Bonn University in Germany. The thesis that she presented as part of the course impressed the director of the Max Planck Institute of Radio Astronomy. She then got chance to do research at Max Planck Institute. Her research could be described, in simple words, as the study of how clouds are transformed into stars.
Arshia studies about the substances and radiations among the galaxy. She even discovered some information about the chemical origin of the Milky Way. As part of the studies, Arshia even flew on the SOFIA research flight.
Arshia’s research won the Otto Hann Award instituted by the Max Planck Society. The prestigious Otto Hann award is given to thirteen scientists who do impressive research work in the fields of Physics and Chemistry.
She was basking in the glory of this award when she won the award by the German Astronomical Society. Dr Arshia, who is currently pursuing post-doctoral fellowship at the John Hopkins University in Baltimore in the United States can return to Germany after completing her course. At Max Planck she could continue her research work with her own team of scientists.
Established in 1948, the Max Planck Society has produced 23 Nobel laureates until now. The Swedish geneticist Svante Paabo who won the Nobel prize for medicine this year is part of the institute.
Research in Science demands patience and dedication. The researchers must not get dejected when results come back negative or doesn’t reach any conclusion. However, they should work hard with perseverance to obtain the desired results that could significantly influence mankind.
Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy is a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Centre. The Boeing 747 SP airplane has a reflecting telescope that could observe in infrared lighting. The aeroplane flies in the stratosphere — a layer of the atmosphere that envelops the Earth 11–13 kilometres above. The telescopes in earth cannot make observations in the infrared field as the earth’s atmosphere and the water particles block the infrared rays.
The SOFIA project that began in 2010 ended in September this year.