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Kailash Chandra Sahu: Journey from Odisha to leading astronomer

Odia scientist Kailash Chandra Sahu has successfully validated Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity by measuring mass of an isolate object in the galaxy. Know about journey of the scientist from an Odisha village to one of the planet’s leading astronomers.

Kailash Chandra Sahu’s days are like any one of ours — he wakes up in the morning, does his yoga, and takes the odd trek to the Annapurna Base Camp. But it’s his journey, from Belagaon in Ganjam district to the Space Telescope Science Institute that truly does justice to the word astronomical.

A child in a corner of the world, Sahu’s village had no power. The nights were dark. So a young boy looked up the only source of light — at the stars. “It may seem strange, but the rural and unpolluted atmosphere of my village contributed a lot to my journey. My father had the habit of spending some time under the sky at night after dinner in the front porch of our home.

As an astronomer, I often go to far-off places like the Andes Mountains in Chile or the Rocky mountains in Canary Islands, where we have large telescopes because of the superb sky conditions there. But the rural atmosphere of my village offered a wonderful view of the night sky on a daily basis,” says the astronomer from his home in Baltimore, US.

Yet, for Sahu there is no telescope that can give him a glimpse of his birthplace. “I often nostalgically remember the simple lifestyle of Odisha, particularly that of our village. So I make it a point to visit our village whenever I go to India. Last October, I spent several days there. I also miss the food from Odisha – particularly delicacies like chhena poda. Chhena poda is such a favorite of mine that my brother once gave me a lot of chhena poda to take to America!” he says.

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Kailash Chandra Sahu

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