“Our understanding of the universe is poised for a revolution,” said scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., Vinay Kashyap here on Thursday.

He was delivering the keynote address at the inaugural function of the three-day national conference on “astronomy and astrophysics” organised by the Poornaprajna College and Association of Physics Teachers of Mangalore.

Dr. Kashyap said astronomy was a technology driven and data driven science. “If we can take advantage of the data streams that are heading our way, astronomy enthusiasts will have a large role to play,” he said.

“Astronomy and astrophysics are a highly active field, and an extraordinary amount of progress is being made, rivalling any other era of scientific discovery,” Dr. Kashyap said.

Inaugurating the conference, Deputy Commissioner P. Hemalatha said that ancient Indians were far ahead of the west in the field of astronomy.

K.J. Rao, head of the Solid State and Structural Chemistry (SSCU), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, K.J. Rao, presided over the inaugural function.

Principal of the college K. Sadashiva Rao welcomed the gathering. Coordinator A.P. Bhat spoke.