Jitendra Nath Goswami did his BSc from Cotton College, Guwahati and MSc from Gauhati University. He then joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) for his PhD work on studies of cosmic ray records in Apollo and Luna samples. He moved to the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) as a Research Associate in 1973 and obtained his PhD (1978). He was at the University of California, Berkeley as a Post-Graduate Research Physicist (1975-76) and spent extended time in various capacities at the University of California, San Diego; Washington University, St Louis; Lunar & Planetary Institute, Houston and at Max-Planck Institute, Mainz. He is currently the Director, PRL, and the Principal Scientist of the first Indian Planetary Mission to Moon, Chandrayaan-1.
Academic and Research Achievements: The research contributions of Dr Goswami cut across the fields of earth, planetary and space sciences and solar-stellar relations. His experimental studies placed a stringent constraint of less than a million year for the collapse of the protosolar cloud leading to the formation of the sun and some of the first solar system solids that bolstered the hypothesis of a supernova-triggered origin of the solar system. Along with his colleagues he provided conclusive evidence for the short-lived nuclide 26Al as the heat source for early melting of planetesimals and established that accretion, melting and differentiation of planetesimals took place within the first few million years of the solar system. His research led to major advances in our understanding of the early Archean evolution of the Indian shield. His earlier work led to identification of the source and origin of the anomalous cosmic rays, make up of the protosolar cloud in term of inputs from various stellar sources and processes, composition and energy spectra of ancient and contemporary solar energetic particles, evidence for an active early sun, etc. He has guided about twelve PhD students and several post-doctoral Fellows.
Other Contributions: Dr Goswami is involved in the planning and execution of Chandrayaan-1 mission to the moon and also in defining a road map for planetary exploration in the coming decades. He guided ISRO's Planetary Science and Exploration project from PRL during its formative stage (2004-07). He set up a high-resolution secondary ion mass spectrometer laboratory for planetary research that has several firsts to its credit.
Awards and Honours: Dr Goswami received INSA Medal for Young Scientists (1978). He received the NASA Public Service Group Achievement Award (1986), SS Bhatnagar Award (1994) and Kamal Kumari Award in Science and Technology (2003). He was elected the President of the Astronomical Society of India (2007). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad, European Association of Geochemistry, Meteoritical Society, Geochemical Society and a Member of International Academy of Astronautics.