The story of photographic plates: NGC 1851

Unravelling the hidden data from the archival photographic plates of globular cluster- NGC 1851
This work got published in the ‘BASE Line’ a quarterly bulletin of JNP, Bangalore.



(This is a scanned copy of the BASE Line.  Full copy of the bulletin can be downloaded here )


Jawaharlal Nehru Planplanetarium Bangalore (JNP)

Vision and Mission 


  • To popularise science amongst general public
  • Non-formal science education,
  • To train students to take up science as a career.

BASE has established a Science Centre in the Planetarium which has become a nucleus for non-formal science education at all levels. The activities of the Science Centre and the Planetarium have made BASE a unique institution for the dissemination of science. A Science Park has been developed in the premises of the Planetarium.

Science popularisation activities of  BASE viz., sky-theatre shows, monthly astronomy lectures, monthly science movies attract over two lakh visitors every year.

Our science education activities viz., Research Education Advancement Programme (REAP), Interactive Week-end Sessions for school children, Summer Programmes, Science Exhibitions and Workshops attract thousands of students every year. Over 35 students from BASE have got admission for Ph.D. courses in premier research institutes in India and abroad. They include Raman Research Institute, Indian Institute of Science, Wild Life Research Institute, Oxford University, Michigan State University, Delft Institute, State University New York, Buffalo, University of Florida, Cornell University.

JNP Publications

JNP Website

JNP Address
Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium
Bangalore Association for Science Education,
Sri T. Choudaiah Road, High Grounds,
Bangalore – 560 001
Land Mark: Opp. Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain, Near Raj Bhavan.

Viswa Keerthy S



‘YoU(r)’niversal Law!

Newton’s ‘Universal’ Law of Gravitation portrayed in an article -theguardian

Once there was a conversation on the topic – What is “Universal Law”? with three persons whom I know very well, here are there views… (there actual WhatsApp conversation).

First Person : Is coulomb’s law universal law …. ?

Second Person: Vo nice… will think on this… it is difficult to term a law as universal.

Second Person: for me the concern is the constant present in the coulomb’s law….

Second Person: Change the equal sign to nearly equal or the force is proportional to the product of two charges by the square of the distance between them… is more or less Universal Law….

Second Person: And I also do have a feeling that no law is universal law….

Second Person: it is nearly universal but not fully universal!!

First Person : Can u get the criterion to call a law universal

Second Person: the only condition I believe is that, it should be valid at all points in the universe…

Second Person: If this is a condition… Just a single law cannot become universal… (up to the physics that we know today)

First Person: What do u mean by just a single law

Second Person: one law cannot be valid at all places… anta

Second Person: Even Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation is also not a universal law… the name still sticks to it.


First Person : Howda…. (Is it?)

First Person : Elli valid alla adu? (Where it is not valid?)

Second Person: Mercury ge valid agalla… (the law is not valid for mercury…)

Second Person: GPS system ge valid agalla… (it is not a suitable law for GPS…)

First Person : Every 2 particles having mass should obey

Second Person: Yes…

First Person : Mercury ge yake aagalla (Why the law is not valid for mercury?)

Second Person: I don’t remember where I read this…

Second Person: it says like this…

First Person: the light moving near the star bends due to SR or GR what ever?  But the claim is that the star attracts (not a suitable word)  light particles and in turn light also attracts the star at a very negligible force (which is not zero but negligible).  According to Newton’s law how can light attract star, it does not have mass (rest mass!!)

Second Person: But these things are accounted for accurate measurement of many things… which is not the direct consequence of Newton’s Law!!

First Person: The concept is different from Newton’s law ashte

Second Person: Mercury has a special kind of motion called “Precision of its Orbit” which is not explained by Newton’s law.

Second Person: Yes, that puts a question on Mass?  Does mass is the main source of gravity in the nature (which is true with newton’s law)

First Person : According to khan academy lecture precession is boz of sun earth interaction

Second Person: interaction through Gravity…

Second Person: if newton’s law talks about Gravity, then it should explain… these interactions… why it fails?

First Person : Yes

Second Person: btw this is only for Mercury…

First Person : Y not

Second Person: Uranus and Neptune were discovered because of the power of Newton’s Law….

Second Person: what I am trying to say is that, gravity is not just the way Newton’s Law define.  It may be true at some places but not at all places… and Newton’s law does not give full picture of it… So it is not a universal law (that is why I said “Universal Law” should not be restricted to just one law)

First Person : G is called universal constant … law is valid at every place

Second Person: humm,

Second Person: What is the source of G?

First Person: Cavendish experiment proof

Second Person: Newton’s law is not just G.  It is a constant number that is present in our universe.  But the value of G does not talk about the nature of gravity… that is spoken by other parameters in the newtons law… which is not always true at all points in the space…

First Person : Do u mean (M)(m)/ r square.  Is not true at certain places ?

Second Person: Yes, it is nearly true but not always… Once C. Sivram sir took a beautiful class in M.Sc.

Second Person: That is why we have General Theory of Relativity…

Second Person: Combination of both Newton’s Law and GR could be universal (if we really need to use this word)….

First Person: I’m stunned. .. no words

Second Person: Yes, that is Nature!!

First Person : Students ge hogi Newton’s law universal alla antha helbeka

Second Person: Interesting part is Kepler defines the motion of planet without using Gravity…. It perfectly fits..  Later newton comes and gives gravitational concept… Kepler did not even know about this Gravity.

Second Person: In fact nothing is universal!! anta ankondiddini… (In fact, I think nothing is universal)


Third Person : Even i think so…that, no law is universal “YET”

Second Person: Yet….? What next?

Third Person : May be in future we can get a universal law…

Second Person: Yes…

So, what is your thoughts on it?  Reply to this article.
I mean ‘YoU(r)’niversal Law!!

Viswa Keerthy S