Signals From Moon-Mates – SSERD Online Space Research Internship

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“ ​Mankind was never meant to be Extinct on this planet , it was meant to leave it​ ! ”

Remember the words of Dr. Brand to Cpt. Cooper from one of the legendary movies of our time , the Interstellar ? No doubt the words are going to be so true in near future . So , if mankind is to leave earth , where should it be ? should it be surviving in a spaceship for an Interstellar voyage ? or settle down on a place named to be the “ Second Earth ” or “ The New Home ” ?

The possible options to seek for , can begin with the search for the possible “ Extraterrestrial Planets ” where life form can be made stable , or can also , have an example of pre-existing life forms ( namely Aliens ) . The search begins with project SETI , by sending out signals for “ THEM ” as a call for “ We the humans live here , on Earth ” . since then the search begins for the planets with possible conditions as that of earth .

Any possible planet  , which have a conditions similar to that of earth , is taken in consideration for the list of Extrasolar planets or Exoplanet as they are named so . For a planet ot be listed as an exoplanet it should fill several criterias for this purpose which includes amount of sunlight to be absorbed , distance form the parent star , climate and atmospheric compositions and etc. after which they can be characterized on the basis of these parameters . But , apart from the planets , if we once take a look to our own solar system , it can be found that the moons , can often be more habitable towards the survival of lifeform as compared to the parent planet . Lets take and Example of Europa , Jupiter’s moon is more habitable as compared to that of the parent planet . So , this calls in account for a search for the Possible Exomoons to be also taken in account for future habitable zones  . 

But , there is a lot of problems in accordance with the search for the exomoons , Noticeably :-

  1. They can hide behind the parent planet . 
  2. Signals from their detections are too low sometimes to make a confirmation for them .

So , we are to rely on Proxy or Indirect Signals for their detections to be done , These signals are the ones produced either by the Moon-Planet binary together or By the Planet due to the presence for the Moon on its orbit . 

Such signals be the change in the orbital eccentricity of the planet or the orbital Wobbling change of the planet . Two of such signals are the TTV [ Transit Timing Variations ] and the TDV [ Transit Duration Variations ] produced by the Moon-Planet binary and , by taking in account both these signals , and a ratio of the Amplitude of the signals gives us a direct measure to the Moons mass and its orbital eccentricity . 

Over here , in our Project , we take in account for the “ phase difference among these two signals ” , to prepare a model with the possible causes for it , and to use that further in a shortlisted data set from KEPLER mission data [ Shortlisted on the basis of SNR ratio mainly ] to make a possible search for the possible exomoon candidates presence by comparing the result with the confirmed “

No Moon ” candidate . 

The results and the details of the project are provided in our project report provided in our website , please take a look and enjoy . 

Thanking you ,


Team members

Junik Sengupta [ Squadron Leader ] ( Sunshining Albatross )

Hello guys, so, I can’t say that I worked a lot being a team leader but, yeah, I made a few contributions, little ones in making this project look a bit better. primarily, I’m not good in the Data part, so leaving that department on My teammate Binayyak ​    ​I made myself comfortable in the theory sections. did a few studies of the papers which were taken as a base to be used for this purpose and did some works on the transit parameter analysis, Lastly, I made short work on the parameters that can be used to shortlist the data sets. also did little parts in TTV and TDV theoretical parts. 

Frankly , i felt it was a awesome group to work over , and each members made equal efforts in leading this team , and most likely we had a lot of members to make our worktimes more interesting with EXTRASOLAR comedies and ideas . one of our teammates made a business idea of selling sugar in mars at the weight measures of earth and i feel like its a good way to be ahead in future !! it was so Interesting and exciting overall i never felt how 6 weeks are passed and we came to the final report submission . If theres a single word i had to use to explain how i felt , all i can say is “AWESOME !!” . thanks to SSERD for proving me such Extrasolar friends with superimposing hearts and brains .

Pulkit Ojha (Pullu_the_night_ullu) 


Hi Fellows from Earth…..One of the exoplanetary souls speaking here. Working with my teammates was simply an awesome experience and managing it with the ongoing academics well served the motto of “Life mein kuch daring karne ka hai”. I remember as if it was yesterday that we took exoplanets as our topic on September 14th and we started working for problem statements… 6 weeks passed relativistically fast and we submitted our final report. I can’t say what impact did we make on the ongoing endeavour of exomoon detection but everything, right from searching for problem statements to discussing the conclusions dug by people after a huge data-analysis and rounds of meetings with our mentor was real fun, where everything was learnt by doing it yourself, an adventure every student aspires to be a part of. 

Thanks SSERD for building my connection with all enthusiasts crazy about what’s up in the universe.


Kedar Kulkarni (Soul From Other Worlds)  ​

 Hi all , so this is the great team to work with. I worked for Theoretical and Mathematical

Analysis part of TTV TDV. This team is the best team ever.We did so much fun during Internship and Every one is the Expert here, everyone did a great  job here from beginning to end, I learned lot of things from everyone.

 Although the internship is over but the connections of our Exo-souls is not  over yet  We are Exo-Souls. 


Smit Macwan (Extraterrestrial Soul)

Heyyyy beautiful people, it was really a fantastic experience to work with the team and got to know about a lot of new things. Though it was an online internship the interactions were quite perfect and it was really fun to discuss with the team while getting and implementing new ideas on the project. I would like to thank the whole team the way they worked and did fun things the same time. I am pleased to thank SSERD for providing such a marvellous experience and getting the space aspirants indulged into such a fruitful working even during this lockdown thing. Thanks a lot 🙂​       

Aayushi Rajgor

It was a great learning experience, especially because of my wonderful and terrific team mates! Coming from a technical background, it was a little tough to use my current skill set on a pure research project, nevertheless, I helped literature survey and finding datasets. The most fun and important part of this project was the team, I was able to learn so many things by looking at everyone’s approach to the problems. A big thanks to SSERD for helping us connect :’)

Shreya Dey( Miss Oenomel)

Hello everyone,it’s really a pleasure to see y’all on this site. As you’ve made this far,let’s have a look into the inception. The team to begin with, is excellent beyond words as every individual is well versed with the topic chosen.I,for myself, primarily worked in theoretical ferreting.We had so much fun during the tenure that even working during the wee hours was indeed a pleasure!I got to learn a lot  from my teammates, had an experience that I’ll cherish for a lifetime! Working with them has made me realise my strengths and shortcomings as well, which makes this wholesome experience even more beautiful and me eager to work with them again for ‘once an exoul, always an exoul’. And it goes without saying,I’m really lucky to have SSERD provide me with this incredible opportunity of working with these people.So yup, let’s exoul!

Charmi Bhatt

Keeping it short: Unforgettable experience, super amazing and very enthusiastic team-mates and enjoyed playing around with Exomoons and their orbits. Team meetings will be missed 🙂 Thank you SSERD! 

Binayyak Bhusan Roy [ Assistant Squadron Leader ]

I had applied for the SSERD internship on a whim, not knowing what I was getting myself into. Then it all started joining up with all different kinds of students from all across India. The first team meeting was… well….. awkward​. But as we went forward with the internship the members eased their way into building friendships. Over google meets and team viewer meetings we re-discovered making friends and getting work done. Getting to know so many different talents and having a laugh over lagging comments, frozen videos and obscure pictures had become a thing. The project topic was difficult to navigate through, at first. By the very end we all had started to get ideas about improving the present methods and come up with other forms of analysis. This left us with valuable experience and many more things that remain to be explored in the future. And I would like to thank each and every member of the team for that. And especially big THANK YOU to SSERD for introducing me to such a beautiful teamwork. The whole journey was great. It was all too good, having worked with you. 


Ayan Ahmad

In the span of this internship, I got to expand my knowledge in the field of Exoplanets and exomoons. Although I had contributions in both theoretical modeling and data analysis, my main focus had been to develop a modified theoretical and mathematical model for the methods of perturbation detection and analysis. At the rate of three coffees, and two eureka per night, the modification for the model and analysis was formulated and gave better results as expected.

It was a unique experience working with like-minded individuals coming from diverse backgrounds. As far as I can say, the work done by my teammates and I was a success and even more so considering the time constraint we had. Many research papers, meetings, and lame jokes later, I had built not just a strong knowledge on the subject but strong friendships as well. I’d like to thank SSERD for this opportunity which I’m sure will have a possible impact on the duration even after the end of our internship. It has been a really memorable experience.

Ananya Shankar

I applied to this internship expecting to learn a little more about astrophysics, but what came of it taught me infinitely more: about teamwork, about new perspectives, about the intuitive nuances of this field. 

It was a great experience working with like minded people who were equally passionate about astrophysics as I am. I worked on the theoretical modelling, and watching everyone’s inputs and contributions and following their stream of thought to find a potential research topic has taught me a lot more than if I were to read up about it alone. The most fun part, the team meetings were just massive brainstorming sessions interspersed with absolutely random banter. 

I don’t think I’ll ever forget this experience, and I’d like to thank SSERD for this opportunity. It was a wonderful 6 weeks and it passed a little too soon. Let’s exoul!

Radha Mittal

I welcome you all earthian(s) here  on this website. It was indeed a very great experience. I learnt a lot and met a lot of amazing people. I really appreciate efforts by each and every one who were there on this journey to exoplanets and their exomoons. I discovered many things about me as well as of universe which I’ll never forget, THANKYOU SSERD for this.

Kudos to the wonderful 6 earthly weeks and infinite little memories we had in those 6 weeks. LET’S EXOUL!!!

– Written by Team Exouls

For more information on the team visit the website of Team ExoulsTeam Exouls is a part of SSERD’s Internship and Projects Divison’s Online Research Internships

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