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Children learn more about stars

mumbai Updated: May 16, 2011 03:10 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Hitesh Khona took his son, Nirav, 8, to DG Ruparel College at Matunga on Sunday morning, hoping to quell his son’s curiosity about stars.

But after sitting through the two-hour ‘Chai and Why?’ session, which aims to decode science concepts, the Ghatkopar businessman left the college premises a more enriched man. “My son now claims to love stars in the sky more than Bollywood stars,” said a beaming Khona.

Organised by the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), ‘Chai and Why?’ comprises informative sessions, where the institute’s professors pick a different topic to decode every fortnight.

On Sunday, astronomers Naveen Yadav, Pankaj Khushwaha and Sayan Chakraborty de-constructed stars.

Khushwaha opened the sessions and spoke about how stars are formed within large clusters of dust and gas.

Yadav then took over and described the evolution of stars through the process of nuclear fusion and fission. “I tried to establish an analogy between the terrestrial and extra-terrestrial,” said Yadav.

Next, Chakraborty explained the death of stars calling it their “retirement plan”.

He further explained the destruction of the White Dwarfs, neutron stars and stellar black holes.

“In India, discussing scientific issues are considered the prerogative of only those who pursue it as a career. Initiatives such as ‘Chai and Why?’ help break such stereotypes,” said Vinit Asgaonkar, a physics teacher and a regular at Chai and Why? session.