International Astronomical Union names a star after Indian Woman Scientist

On December 17, 2019, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) named a white yellow star in Sextans Constellation as “Bhibha” and its planet as “Santamasa”


The star has been named Bhibha honoring Indian Woman Scientist Bhibha Choudhury who discovered subatomic particle pi-meson. Bhibha means a bright beam of light in Bengali. The name Santamasa in Sanskrit means clouded. The name is appropriate as the planet’s atmosphere is clouded.

The IAU that celebrated its 100th birth anniversary on July 28, 2019, allowed every country to give a famous name to selected pair of exoplanet and its host star.

Bhibha star

Bhibha is an ageing star that is 6.2 billion years old and Santamsa is its only planet. The mass of the planet is expected to be 1.5 times as that of Jupiter and is very hot. Santamasa completed its revolution around its star in just about 2.1375 days.

Significantly, the 2019 nobel prize in Physics was awarded to the discovery of an exoplanet that is orbiting a star similar to that of the sun.

Pi Meson

In particle physics, pi meson or pion is a subatomic particle. They are unstable and existing with positive, negative and neutral charges. It means that they are present in proton, neutron and electron of an atom.