B S Shylaja Joined the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium as Educator in 1994. She has been involved in the preparation of planetarium programmes. She initiated teaching astronomy at different levels with 5 day and 3 day workshops called “Universe in the classroom”, “Introduction to the night sky” for students, teachers and lay persons. She initiated the monthly sky watch program called “Know your stars” which is conducted on the first Sunday of every month from the year 2000 onwards. Under the aegis of the REAP for B Sc students which was formalised in 2000, she taught basics of astronomy and astrophysics till her retirement (2017). Many interesting student projects on astronomy were guided by her.
Using the images of the moon from Clementine, she determined the age of the lunar basin by crater frequency distribution. A library of stellar spectra has been prepared as an outcome of the visits to the Vainu Bappu Observatory by REAP students. Several asteroids and comets were observed and the most interesting result was from the spectrum of the eclipsed moon. She was involved in several educational activities as member of text book committees, board of studies, advisory panels for science centres and museums. She has written more than 300 popular articles and several weekly columns in Prajavani. Her monthly sky watch column is running since August 1999.
Shylaja became the Senior Scientific Officer, then Deputy Director and took charge as Director in 2012. The sky theatre was renovated for the installation of new hybrid projectors from Carl Zeiss. With the enthusiastic support from all the colleagues and local talent the first attempt to produce an in-house planetarium program was successful. She got several new installations in the Science Park - the parallel globe, Jantar - Mantar replicas, the anti-gravity cottage and the Ames room. Shylaja obtained her M Sc in Physics from the Bangalore University and Ph D from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics working on Wolf-Rayet binary stars. Her subjects of interest include comets, peculiar stars and novae. She has more than 120 publications in refereed journals and 17 books. Shylaja has keen interest in history of astronomy. She is currently working on stone inscriptions, translation and analysis of manuscripts of 17th century and astronomical aspects of temples, monuments and artworks.
Here are some links to her publications: