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Syed Maqbool Ahmed
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Trained as a VUV spectroscopist (Ph.D. 1990); started career in the field of Laboratory Astrophysics; later moved to Plasma diagnostics (1992). In the recent past again switched over to Space-borne Instrumentation (2005) with a 4-year stint at ISRO's Vikram Sarabhai Space Center. Had 2-years stint with NASA-JPL and 1-year sabbatical at Swiss Federal Lab (EPFL).
Trained as a VUV spectroscopist (Ph.D. 1990); started career in the field of Laboratory Astrophysics; later moved to Plasma diagnostics (1992). In the recent past again switched over to Space-borne Instrumentation (2005) with a 4-year stint at ISRO's Vikram Sarabhai Space Center. Had 2-years stint with NASA-JPL and 1-year sabbatical at Swiss Federal Lab (EPFL).

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My Trip to Coorg:
It all started with taking Aman away after his grilling XIIth exams and the following marathon run of competitive exams. Khushboo too was waiting to make use of her semester brake. Our plans to make it to Ooty failed; so we decided to visit a place nearby Mysore called Biligiri Ranga Hills (BR Hills) and then head to Coorg. I booked a out station taxi on Ola from Bangalore and headed to BR Hills (Fig.1), a serene hilly region declared as Tiger reserve by the Karnataka state. As you drive down the Bangalore Coimbatore highway; one gets off at Kollegal town and in another 10-12 kms you are on the entry gate of BR Hills; which closes down at 6.00 pm. We were fortunate to have a host, Mr. Ganeshan, who has been living there for the past 30-years. Now, of course nobody can own a land. As we introduced to Mr. Ganeshan, living in an absolute jungle in a a area covering approximately 6-8 acres (Fig.2 view from the varandah); the evening kicked in. As per him, stepping out of his concrete structure was risky; as tigers, leopards and elephants visit an adjoining water body. Some how we mustered some courage and peeped through the trees as far as we can see. It was like a "jaatara", a village mela of birds... chirping all around. The copper smith (bird) was giving periodic loud sounds, magpie robin was singing effortlessly while there was a huge background hum crickets and other small creatures. We had dinner; my eyes were set just outside the sprawling opening surrounded by a huge trees; of course it was pitch dark even at 8.00 pm. While Seema and Khushboo setlled down in a bed room; I was over joyed to take the floor in the opening covered by huge glasses and the entire jungle was in front of eyes. As the night tricled, my eyes were glued to the front open area; even a small hiss was like an entry of some four legged species standing in front of you. The excitement was pushing my palpitations up I could see the clock tickle 11-12 and 1... some how fell asleep. I remember very very vividly, waking up couple of times between 2 and 4 and could see few wild boars roaming in the front open area. The whistle of first bird was around 4.30 am or so... as horizon was picking some light birds began their daily chores. I was told that, I can only open the glass doors once the sun light percolates; so.... waited till 5.50 am and then went out.... I left Hyderabad soaring at 42C; while the BR Hills were a cool at 10 or 12C. I started walking past the small locality of tribes (few 10s of huts) then onto the road leading to the entry gate. It is a life time experience to walk in a place almost 300 square kilometers serene; comprising of 300-tigers and few hundreds of leopards, few thousand elephants; innumerable species of birds, deer and few exotic species ... Indian Gaur and many other species. As I walked past the human habitat; I could feel the chill passing through my body.... both scared and excited that I may come across any of these "animal". The landscape is captivating; call of very very different birds are eye catching; of course the "wilderness" was truly a life time experience. I could see a lake (Fig.3) filled with crystal clear water; the setting all around the lake is stunning, Never ever in my life I have seen; how nice a lake ambiance could be... then I remembered what we have done to the water bodies in our towns and cities. I kept walking on the road (Fig.4); hoping that in case of any "encounter", I have a chance of running. A Jeep stopped by, the driver got very angry with me... saying that I am risking my life by walking into the wilderness. He also said that he had just came past a herd of elephants with couple of younger group members. His point was.... I stand no chance to escape the herd as they can easily out run me. There were incidences of elephants chasing the intruders into their herds and pulling down the trees to trample that unwanted species. I realized that, I have covered more than 4-km from the human habitat; so the only option left was to quickly rush back. As I was walking back, it was more of scare than excitement which was driving me; I had to see my back every 10-15 m. Of course, I had to complete my "morning activity" right in the middle of jungle. Should I feel ashamed, proud or hide it all together; just like to offer the truth as it happened. I reached back our place, it was around 7.30 am.... I was extremely upset that the excitement has come to an end... Just waited for next day's morning... Shall continue this story in my next post....

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08/06/2017
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Opportunities for final year M.Sc. Physics .....

http://indisocialfan.blogspot.in/ 

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Schiaparelli
The unrelenting European spirit of landing on Mars continues. Mars-3 , the first earthling object from USSR, though, had landed on Mars in 1971; it's signals ceased within 14-seconds of soft landing. While USA is sitting pretty with nearly half a dozen rove...

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Schiaparelli
The unrelenting European spirit of landing on Mars continues. Mars-3 , the first earthling object from USSR, though, had landed on Mars in 1971; it's signals ceased within 14-seconds of soft landing. While USA is sitting pretty with nearly half a dozen rove...

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To quote an article at SPACE " Europe's lander Schiaparelli crashed on the Red Planet, and an orbiting NASA spacecraft has spotted its grave, European Space Agency(ESA) officials said" ... http://www.space.com/34472-exomars-mars-lander-crash-site-photos.html 

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Schiaparelli landing on Mars LIVE @ 14:28 GMT, 20:10 IST (http://livestream.com/ESA/marsarrival)
and the details : http://indispacefan.blogspot.in/ 

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19th October, Wednesday at 2.48 pm GMT; European Space Agency will make another daring attempt to land on Mars. Schiaparelli, the 600-kg saucer like lander will try to brake shackles of landing on Mars... http://indispacefan.blogspot.in/
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Schiaparelli
The famous Italian astronomer, Giovanni Schiaparelli (1835-1910) dedicated his life studying planet Mars from three observatories in the Europe. From the ground telescopes, he observed a network of linear structures; calling them " canali ", in Italian, mea...

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There is an opportunity (M.Sc. students) for the project post at NGRI with my friend Dr. PSR Prasad... http://rectt.ngri.res.in:8080/pa92016/main_advt.pdf 

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It is almost for the past 4-5 decades that the gene responsible for Duchenne Muscle Dystrophy is discovered that there is one drug called Eteplirsen approved by FDA (yesterday) which can salvage a pathetic condition of patients suffering due to exon-51 mutation.
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