Home page of Aswin Sekhar (Researcher in Solar System Dynamics)

Statutory Warning : All views and opinions expressed here are my personal traits and thoughts. It has got nothing to do with my past or present or future academic affiliations !
Welcome to my webpage.

By the way I am a theoretician so you wouldn't find any false colours here :) If you do, please email me immediately :P

My Erdos number is 4 (which simply means that I haven't published with the great Erdos :P)

Brief History/Timeline:

1. Born on 1985 Oct 5 in India (no wonder chaos in the solar system interests me :P)

2. Like any other Indian, I had a rigorous schooling for 14 years. Sometime during those years, I developed this obsessive mathphyschem disease (immense love for pure science in layman's terms)! Special thanks to my wonderful mentors: D Krishna Warrier & Sashi Warrier

3. Attended three universities in India to get a flavour of physics for 6 years (B.Sc plus M.Sc plus M.Phil) at various levels. (Addiction to meaningful cinema, classical music, wildlife, adventure, literature, badminton, chess & cricket was part of campus/hostel life package)

4. Attended one university in United Kingdom to complete the Doctoral Degree in Physics (kindly funded by Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure of Northern Ireland)

5. Spent one more year in United Kingdom as a researcher continuing my work in solar system dynamics.

During my total 5 years in UK, I had a good academic life (many thanks to David, Tolis & Mark for educating me constantly :P)

6. Presently working as a Post Doctoral Fellow at Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics (CEED), University of Oslo for a celestial mechanics project (funded by Research Council of Norway) from 2015-2018

Due to sheer laziness and ignorance (in html), I couldn't make this website as colourful as I wanted !
Please do visit again sometime soon. By then, you will find some fascinating stuff which pleases me (and possibly you as well) !

My Research Interests: Celestial Mechanics, Solar System Dynamics, Orbits of Meteoroids, Comets & Asteroids

Snail Mail (no special relativity involved):
CEED
Postbox 1028, Blindern
N-0315 Oslo
Norway
Electronic mail (many orders of magnitude faster than snail mail): aswin.sekhar <"@">geo.uio.no , asw<"@">arm.ac.uk, aswinsek<"@">gmail.com

Recent Press Releases / Media Mentions: (Never craved for publicity; happened by sheer accident)
Article on Indian Heritage in the World of Comets feautured in the Newsminute 2017 (A press agency based in South India)
Article on GR Precession in Small Solar System Bodies featured in Astronomi 2016 (Popular Astronomy Magazine in Norway)
Write-Up on Cometocentric Conferences featured on Astrophysics & Geophysics Forum 2016 of Royal Astronomical Society, London
Work on 3 Body Resonances featured on New Scientist Magazine 2016
Work on Sungrazers featured on NASA-Comet ISON campaign 2013
Article about the work on Comet ISON (written in 2013 by a researcher at NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center)
Work on Saturnian Resonances mentioned in Estonian Press 2013
Work on Jovian Resonances received Press Release (2012) by Royal Astronomical Society, London
Yahoo News (2012)
Astronomy Now (2012)
Naked Scientists Podcast (2012), Cambridge
Space.com 2012
First Post Network 18, Indian Press (2012)

Post Doctoral Research Experience (Boundary between formal work & hobby & passion is unclear for me!)
1. Post Doctoral Fellow at Centre for Earth Evolution and Dynamics (CEED), Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo, Norway from 2015 Sep - 2018 Mar to work on a celestial mechanics project (funded by Research Council of Norway)
2. Visiting Researcher at Armagh Observatory, UK (Jun 2015 - )
3. Research Associate at Armagh Observatory, UK (May 2014 - May 2015)

Academic Qualifications (The best minds like Galileo or Archimedes didn't need formal education)

a. University Education: (A particular phase of life when we realise that our previous degree didn't teach us enough!)
1. Ph.D in Physics at Armagh Observatory, UK & Queen's University Belfast, UK (2010-2014)
List of Degrees Awarded Published in Belfast Telegraph
Project Title: Evolution of Halley-type Comets and Meteoroid Streams
Principal Thesis Supervisor: Dr David Asher
Internal Examiner: Dr Apostolos Christou, Armagh Observatory, UK
External Examiner: Dr Jeremie Vaubaillon, IMCCE, Paris Observatory, France
Funding Body: Department of Culture, Arts & Leisure

2. M.Phil in Physics at Christ University, Bangalore, India (2009-2010)
Grade: A
Project Title: Calculation of Continuum and Bound State Beta Decay Rates of a Few Bare Nuclei
Principal Thesis Supervisor: Dr S B Gudennavar

3. M.Sc in Physics at VIT University, Vellore, India (2007-2009)
CGPA: 8.51 out of 10 (85.1%)
Thesis Title: Theoretical Study of Effective Masses of Diluted Magnetic Semi-conductors
Principal Supervisor: Dr R L Hota

4. B.Sc in Physics at Mahatma Gandhi College affiliated to University of Kerala, Trivandrum, India (2004-2007)
Overall Physics Aggregate: 86.6 %

b. Senior Schooling: (The time when I thought that formal education is nearly over. Never realised that the journey is never ending!)
1. AISSCE-2004 (CBSE) at Bhavan's Vidya Mandir, Girinagar, Cochin, Kerala, India
Overall Aggregate: 86 %

2. AISSE-2002 (CBSE) at CEMCS, Palghat District, Kerala, India
Overall Aggregate: 91 %

Conferences/Schools/Workshops/Meetings/Projects: (A bit of travelling, socialising & learning put together)

a. Scientific:
1. Division of Planetary Sciences-European Planetary Science Congress 2016 at Pasadena, CA, USA
(Organisers: American Astronomical Society, JPL-NASA and California Institute of Technology)

2. Cometary Science After Rosetta Meeting 2016 at The Royal Society, London, England
(Organisers: Dr Geraint Jones, Dr Matthew Knight, Prof Alan Fitzsimmons, Dr Matt Taylor)

3. International Conference of Meteoroids 2016 at ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands
(Organisers: IAU Commission F1)

4. Moon 2020-2030 Symposium 2015 at ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands
(Organisers: Markus Landgraf et al., European Space Agency)

5. Irish National Astronomy Meeting (INAM) 2015 at Queen's University Belfast, UK
(Organisers: Astronomy Science Group of Ireland)

6. International Astronomical Union General Assembly (IAU GA) 2015 at Honolulu, USA
(Organisers: American Astronomical Society et al.)

7. National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) 2015 at Venue Cymru, Llandudno, Wales
(Organiser: Royal Astronomical Society, London)

8. 12th Early Career Planetary Scientists' Meeting 2015 at the University of Kent, Canterbury, England
(Organisers: UK Planetary Forum)

9. Visitor to CERN, Geneva, Switzerland/France (2014)

10. Irish National Astronomy Meeting (INAM) 2014 at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
(Organisers: Astronomy Science Group of Ireland members)

11. Asteroids, Comets and Meteors 2014 at Helsinki, Finland
(Organisers: Prof Karri Muinonen et al., Department of Physics, University of Helsinki)

12. Royal Society Meeting 2014 at London, England

13. Meteoroids 2013 at Poznan, Poland
(Organisers: Prof Tadeusz Jopek et al.)

14. International Meteor Conference (IMC) 2013 at Poznan, Poland
(Organisers: Marc Gyssens & Paul Roggemans, IMO)

15. RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting 2013 on Comets' Interactions with other Solar System Bodies at Royal Astronomical Society, London, England
(Organisers: Dr Geraint Jones, MSSL-UCL, UK, Dr John Brown, University of Glasgow and Dr Stephen Lowry, University of Kent)

16. European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2012 at Madrid, Spain
(Organisers: Prof Felipe Gomez et al.)

17. Asteroids, Comets & Meteors (ACM) 2012 at Niigata, Japan
(Organisers: Prof Junichi Watanabe et al.)

18. ASGI Meeting 2012 at Birr Castle, Ireland
(Organisers: Dr Peter Gallager & Dr Neil Trappe, Astronomy Science Group of Ireland)

19. National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) 2012 at University of Manchester, England
(Organisers: Royal Astronomical Society, London & Astronomische Gesellschaft, Germany)

20. Marcopolo R Symposium 2012 at University of Manchester, England
(Organiser: Prof Simon Green, Open University, UK)

21. First Kepler Science Conference 2011 at NASA Ames Center, CA, USA
(Organisers: NASA Kepler Team & SETI, USA)

22. PASCOS 2011 at Department of Applied Mathematics & Theoretical Physics, University of Cambridge, England
(Organisers: Prof Stephen Hawking et al.)

23. ASGI Meeting 2011 at National University of Ireland, Maynooth
(Organiser: Dr Peter Gallager & Dr Neil Trappe, Astronomy Science Group of Ireland)

24. PLATO Science Conference 2011 at University of Technology, Berlin, Germany
(Organiser: Dr Ruth Teitz Weider, European Space Agency)

25. RAS Specialist Meeting 2010 on Rosetta Mission at Royal Astronomical Society, London, England
(Organisers:Prof John Zarnecki, Open University, UK & Prof Alan Fitzsimmons, Queen's University Belfast, UK)

26. RRI School 2010 on Statistical Physics at Raman Research Institute, Bangalore, India
(Organisers: Dr Abhishek Dhar & Dr Sanjib Sabhapandit, Raman Research Institute)

27. Winter School 2010 on Gamma Ray Astronomy & Neutrino Physics at Kodaikanal Solar Observatory,Tamil Nadu, India
(Organisers: Prof P R Vishwanath, Indian Institute of Astrophysics & Prof D Indumathi, Institute of Mathematical Sciences)

28. Indian Academy of Sciences Summer Research Fellowship 2009 to pursue a summer project on Superconductivity
Supervisor: Prof Gautam I Menon, Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, India
(Organiser: Prof N Mukunda, Chairman, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore)

29. Summer School 2008 in Astronomy & Astrophysics at Vainu Bappu Observatory, Kavalur, Tamil Nadu, India
(Organiser: Indian Institute of Astrophysics)

b. Non-Scientific: (As enjoyable as scientific adventures though!)
1. Munch Music Festival 2016 at University Aula, Oslo, Norway

2. Banff Mountain Film Festival 2015 at Folktheatret, Oslo, Norway

3. Visitor at Berlin International Film Festival 2012, Germany

4. Visiting Delegate at Edinburgh International Film Festival 2011, Scotland

5. London School of Economics Summer School 2010 in International Relations
(Tutors: Prof Chris Alden & Dr Alvaro Mendez)

6. Research Volunteer for King Cobra Radio Telemetry Project 2009 at Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, Agumbe, Karnataka, India
(Organisers: Rom Whitaker & Gerrard Martin)

Talks Presented: (10 minutes of luxury to talk what we have done in 10 months)
a. Scientific:
1. Rapid Enhancement in General Relativistic Precession Rates due to Lidov-Kozai Mechanism in the Solar System, Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, Northern Ireland 2017 (Invited)

2. General Relativistic Precession in Small Solar System Bodies, Meteoroids 2016 (organised by IAU Commission F1), ESA/ESTEC, Netherlands

3. Bombardment Rates on Terrestrial Planets: Tuning the Crater Clock, CEED Board Meeting 2016, Oslo, Norway

4. Impact Risks from Small Solar System Bodies, CEED Internal Wine Seminar 2016, Oslo, Norway

5. Impact Risks on Satellites and Space Instruments from Small Solar System Bodies at CEED Cruise 2015, Oslo, Norway

6. Evidence of Three Body Resonance in Meteoroid Stream at Irish National Astronomy Meeting (INAM) 2015, Belfast, Northern Ireland

7. Meteor Shower on Mars indicates Cometary Activity Far Away from the Sun at International Astronomical Union General Assembly (IAU GA) 2015, Honolulu, USA

8. Meteor Shower on Mars indicates Cometary Activity Far Away from the Sun at National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) 2015, Venue Cymru, Wales

9. Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) - Mars Close Encounter at Armagh Observatory, United Kingdom (2014)

10. Meteor Showers on Earth from Sungrazing Comets at Irish National Astronomy Meeting (INAM) 2014, Dublin, Ireland

11. Meteor Showers on Earth from Sungrazers at Asteroids, Comets and Meteors (ACM) 2014, Helsinki, Finland

12. Kozai Mechanism and Sungrazers at Armagh Observatory, United Kingdom (2013)

13. Saturnian Mean Motion Resonances in Meteoroid Streams at Meteoroids 2013, Poznan, Poland

14. General Relativistic Effects on Meteoroid Orbits at International Meteor Conference (IMC) 2013, Poznan, Poland

15. Effects of General Relativity on Meteoroid Orbits at Armagh Observatory, United Kingdom (2013)

16. Saturnian Mean Motion Resonances in Meteoroid Streams at Armagh Observatory, United Kingdom (2013)

17. Close Encounter of 2012 DA14 and Chelyabinsk Meteorite Event at Armagh Observatory, United Kingdom (2013)

18. Comet C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS) and C/2012 S1 (ISON) at Armagh Observatory, United Kingdom (2013)

19. Resonant Structures in Meteor Streams at Armagh Observatory, United Kingdom (2012)

20. Resonant Behaviour of Comet Halley and the Orionid Stream at European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2012, Madrid, Spain

21. Resonant Behaviour of Comet Halley and the Orionid Stream at Asteroids, Comets & Meteors (ACM) 2012, Niigata, Japan

22. Long Term Evolution of Halley's Comet and the Orionid Stream at Astronomy Science Group of Ireland Meeting (ASGI) 2012, Birr, Ireland

23. Long Term Evolution of Comet Halley and the Orionid Stream at National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) 2012, Manchester, United Kingdom

24. Long Term Evolution of the Orionid Stream at International Meteor Conference (IMC) 2011, Sibiu, Romania

25. Close Encounter of 2005 YU55 at Armagh Observatory, United Kingdom (2011)

26. History and Relevance of Titius-Bode Law at Armagh Observatory, United Kingdom (2011)

27. Life and Work of Fred L Whipple at Armagh Observatory, United Kingdom (2010)

28. Calculation of Continuum and Bound State Beta Decay Rates of a Few Bare Nuclei at Dept of Physics, Christ University, India (2010)

29. Theoretical Study of Effective Masses of Diluted Magnetic Semi-conductors at School of Science & Humanities, VIT University, India (2009)

30. Reference Frames in Physics at Mahatma Gandhi College (affiliated to University of Kerala), India (2005)

b. Posters Presented (Beaming science rants to interrupt other participants' peaceful coffee break! :P):
1. General Relativistic Precession in Small Solar System Bodies at Division of Planetary Sciences (DPS)-European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2016, Pasadena, CA, USA

2. General Relativistic Precession in Small Solar System Bodies at Cometary Science After Rosetta Meeting 2016 at The Royal Society, London, England

3. Three Body Resonance in Meteoroid Streams at Meteoroids 2016 (organised by IAU Commission F1) at ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands

4. Impact Risks on Satellites and Space Instruments from Small Solar System Bodies at Moon 2020-2030 Symposium 2015 at ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, Netherlands

c. Chairing in Conferences/Meetings (To display skills in using a stopwatch and think about silly(!!!) questions):
1. Orbital Dynamics Oral Session in Extrasolar Planets at Division of Planetary Sciences-European Planetary Science Congress 2016, Pasadena, CA, USA

2. Orbital Dynamics Poster Session in Extrasolar Planets and Systems at Division of Planetary Sciences-European Planetary Science Congress 2016, Pasadena, CA, USA

d. Public Outreach (Communication of Practical Aspects to Real Taxpayers with my Limited Abilities!):
1. The Exciting World of Comets, Asteroids and Meteoroids at Science Outreach to Schools Event 2014, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, India
(Other speakers included Nobel Laureate Prof Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Padma Vibhushan Prof M S Swaminathan; Organised by Dr Anuradha Pallipurath, Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge)

Publications: (Many say more the better. I frankly don't know. Wonder what all time greats like Einstein or Dirac or Godel had to say. Oops...they might suicide if they see the 250 co-authored papers these days !!! )
a. Refereed (i.e. highest level of scrutiny)
1. Sekhar A., Werner S. C., Hoffmann V., Asher D. J., Vaubaillon J., Hajdukova M., Li G., 2017, Changes in Minimum Orbit Intersection Distance on Earth due to General Relativistic Precession in Small Solar System Bodies, Monthly Notices of Royal Astronomical Society (in preparation)

2. Sekhar A., Asher D. J., Werner S. C., Vaubaillon J., Li G. 2017, Change in General Relativistic Precession due to Lidov-Kozai oscillation in the Solar System, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (in press) arxiv version

3. Sekhar A., Asher D. J. & Vaubaillon J. 2016, Three Body Resonance in Meteoroid Streams, Monthly Notices of Royal Astronomical Society, 460, 1417. arxiv version

4. Sekhar A. & Asher D. J. 2014, Resonant Behavior of Comet Halley and the Orionid Stream, Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 49, 52. arxiv version

5. Sekhar A. & Asher D. J. 2014, Meteor Showers on Earth from Sungrazing Comets, Monthly Notices of Royal Astronomical Society Letters, 437, L71. pdf version

6. Sekhar A. 2013, General Relativistic Precession in Meteoroid Orbits, WGN, Journal of the International Meteor Organization, 41, 179. pdf version

7. Sekhar A. & Asher D. J. 2013, Saturnian Mean Motion Resonances in Meteoroid Streams, Monthly Notices of Royal Astronomical Society Letters, 433, L84. arxiv version

b. Non-refereed (i.e. limited level of scrutiny!!!)
1. Vaubaillon J., Soja R., Maquet L., Egal A., Sekhar A., Koten P., Rudawska R., Colas F., Reffet B. 2014, Update on Recent-past and Near-future Meteor Shower Outbursts on the Earth and on Mars, In: Proceedings of the International Meteor Conference 2014, Giron, France, Eds. Rault, J.-L, Roggemans P., International Meteor Organization, 134.

2. Sekhar A. 2014, Effects of General Relativity on Meteoroid Orbits, In: Proceedings of the International Meteor Conference, Poznan, Poland, Eds. Gyssens M., Roggemans P., Zoladek P., International Meteor Organization, 139.

3. Sekhar A. 2012, Evolution of Comet Halley and the Orionid Stream, In: Proceedings of the International Meteor Conference, Sibiu, Romania, 15-18 Sep 2011, Eds. Gyssens M., Roggemans P., International Meteor Organization, 33.

Other Mentions About My Present Research:
1. 'Jupiter helps Halley's Comet give us more spectacular meteor displays' in the category of Research Highlights mentioned in the 'Astronomy and Geophysics' published by Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 53, p. 3.32-3.33 (2012)

Summer/Work Experience Student Supervision/Projects (Some poor souls got mentored by me briefly!)
1. 'Few Interesting Results Related to Comet 1P/Halley' by Ben Hounsell (presently M.Phys student at University of Liverpool) as part of Nuffield Summer Project Programme 2012
2. Some Simple Calculations in Orbital Dynamics by David Malone (Forthill College, NI) and Michael Quin (Portadown College, NI) as part of Observatory's Work Experience Projects 2014

Memberships/Fellowships: (Collective Solidarity Amongst the Tribe!)
1. Member, Divison F Commission F1 Meteors, Meteorites and Interplanetary Dust, International Astronomical Union (IAU)

2. Member, Inter-Division A-F Commission Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy, IAU

3. Member, Cross-Division A-F Commission Solar System Ephemerides, IAU

4. Elected Fellow, Royal Astronomical Society, England

5. Voting Member, International Meteor Organization, Belgium

6. Full Member, American Astronomical Society (AAS), USA

7. Member, Division of Dynamical Astronomy, AAS, USA

8. Member, Division of Planetary Sciences, AAS, USA

9. Life Member, Astronomical Society of India

10. Member, American Physical Society, USA

11. Member, American Meteor Society, USA

Scholarships/Grants/Fellowships Awarded (Inspite of my poor talents in writing proposals!)
1. Europlanet Travel Bursary to present results at joint DPS-EPSC 2016, Pasadena, USA

2. International Astronomical Union Grant for presenting talk at IAU GA 2015, Honolulu, USA

3. Research in Paris (funded by City of Paris council) Fellowship for 2015-2016 for post doctoral work at IMCCE, Paris Observatory, France

4. SAIA Research Scholarship for 2015-2016 to work at Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics, Comenius University, Bratislava under National Scholarship Programme of the Slovak Republic for International Researchers

5. PRESTIGE Marie Curie Grant for 2015-2016 to work at IMCCE, Paris Observatory, France

6. Post Doctoral Fellowship (funded by Research Council of Norway) for 2015-2018 to work at CEED, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo, Norway

7. Europlanet Travel Bursary to present results at EPSC 2012, Madrid, Spain

8. Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure of Northern Ireland Scholarship for Doctoral Studies (2010-2014) at Armagh Observatory and Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom

9. Indian Academy of Sciences Summer Research Fellowship 2009 for a research project at Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, India

Acting as Scientific Referee (So called Rigorous Academic Karma :P):
1. Planetary and Space Science (based in Netherlands)

2. Astronomische Nachrichten (based in Germany)

3. IAU Commission F1 Meteor Textbook Project (by Cambridge University Press)

4. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (based in England)

Computer Literacy: (What Halley used to do with pen and paper, I do with a computer. Shows how hard working I am :P)
Operating Systems: Mac, Windows, Linux

Programming/Scientific Software: IDL, GNUPLOT, MERCURY, C++, Python


Last but not the least: List of Scientific/Nobel/Fields Medal Celebrities I got to meet :)
Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Peter Higgs
Roger Penrose
Stephen Hawking
Brian Schimdt
Andrew Wiles
Manjul Bhargava
Ivar GiƦver
Yoshihide Kozai
Amartya Sen
Please feel free to visit my web page again sometime soon (No visa required :P)