Aakash Gautam is an Astronomy communicator, video creator and a known YouTuber from Shimla, HP.
Aakash Gautam is best known for his image infographics and informative outer space videos. Also known by his online pseudonym Cosmian, He developed his interest in astronomy at an early age. When Aakash he entered his teenage, He started reading books about space science and astronomy. He went to the libraries to find books on cosmos and stuff. Soon after, at the age of 15, His parents took him to Nehru Planetarium at Teen Murti Bhawan Delhi, where he further got fascinated by the visions of the telescopes, planets etc.
So without further ado, let’s hear the story of Aakash who is helping in igniting youth’s curiosity in Outer Space.
First of all, for the audience, we would like you to give us a brief introduction about yourself?
Well, first of all, thanks for this interview. So, I am Aakash Gautam, a space communicator and Explorer for Shimla, HP. I am 20 and I natively belong to Shimla only. I am currently pursuing my masters from Himachal Pradesh University.
How did your interest started in Astronomy and Cosmos?
I can’t remember accurately, but as far as I could remember my interest started at age 10-11 when I first watched the Discovery Channel TV series named ‘Through the Wormhole’. It was the first season of the series, narrated by Morgan Freeman. I still distinctly remember the name of that episode. It was ‘What happened before the beginning?’. And, yeah…that was pretty much the beginning of my interest.
How your journey began on YouTube and How did you come up with the name ‘Planet Aakash’ for your youtube channel?
Well, I started my channel back in last month of 2016, after discussing the idea with my father and one of my friend. I started it with the dream to share information with people about space and astronomy. Initially, I used to upload English videos but after some time I shifted to Hindi voice-over videos. Some of them went viral and helped me to gain initial few subscribers. After that, I started posting videos both in Hindi as well as in English. Initially, I used the name ‘Aakash Gautam’ for my channel but after some time I changed it to ‘Planet Aakash’. Planet Aakash just sounded me closer to my interest so I thought of keeping it.
Any step back you faced during this journey?
No journey is smooth. Mine was no different. Initially many people advised me to not pursue this interest as it was taking so much time to make videos and some people said that this isn’t gonna work. Keeping myself motivated at that time was hard. I actually did hanged-up making space videos for some time. But later realized that space is where is belong and I have to do it anyhow for me and for the people. So kept it doing thereafter. Also, I faced a minor step back on my youtube journey when my channel got suspended due to a false community strike against me by YouTube. I managed to get my channel back, two days later. And then there was no looking back. Since then, I have been obsessively posting videos more or less on regular basis.
What makes it interesting to study Space and Astronomy?
Well, one thing that distinguishes Astronomy is that it shows us that how we all are connected to each other. We all belong to space. We are literally stardust. Our body is full of elements that formed billions of years ago. Everything we are, everything we see and everything in the universe originated from stardust. This thing directly connects us to the universe. Most of the material that we’re made of comes out of dying stars, or stars that died in explosions. We also have stuff in us as old as the universe. Moreover, Astronomy satisfies our spirit of exploring the unknown.
Now, The most controversial question we often hear… What are the odds that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe? what are your views on this?
Odds?? It seems like a near certainty to me. Cosmos is way too much vast. There are billions of galaxies in this universe and single one of them contains billions and billions of stars. There are just too many places where life might potentially arise and even got too much time to evolve. But the truth is we don’t know about them yet. It looks implausible to me that life doesn’t exist elsewhere. Naturally, what happens that civilizations breed and replenish after some time. Intelligence is just not sufficient for existence. But ‘Hyper’ advanced technological species could outlive in a long run where people would be the cybernetic organisms (Half Man, Half Machine).
Is there anything which has blown your mind in this space cosmos stuff, lately?
Yeah…so… About 1.3 Billion years ago, two black holes collided and they sent a ripple through the fabric of space-time, a gravitational wave and it’s been traveling for 1.3 billion years. A hundred years ago, Einstein predicted that these catastrophic gravitational waves exist but didn’t think that we will ever be able to detect them because their intensity and energy is very very low to perceive. A hundred years later, technology and computing just got precise enough to be able to detect them… That is a real triumph of our understanding of the laws of nature and the operations of the universe.
Which planet excites you the most, other than Earth in the Solar system?
Mars, I believe, is a pretty exciting planet. It’s our second home, our number one candidate after Earth where the human race might progress. Recently, we have found an underground ocean on Mars. Other than that, Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, is also fascinating. Titan is full of surface liquid oceans and is composed of organic compounds such as methane and mainly nitrogen. Scientists hope to find methane-bound life forms there.
From whom do you draw inspiration?
There are many. Most important influence growing up with this space obsession was of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam (late), Rakesh Sharma, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking (late).
Who all people you credit for your success?
My lovely parents, my supportive friends and many other unknown people from whom I keep on learning every day.
Any favorite movie or book on Astronomy?
Yeah… My favorite book about space is The Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking and in movies, Star Trek Series, The Martian and Interstellar are my favorite ones.
What motivates to pursue your hobby of space exploration?
Well, the very nature of us is to explore things and keep looking for answers. I think that is the primary reason that motivates me. Also, vastness and exoticness of this space further motivate me to explore the unknown.
What are your hobbies other than exploring Space?
Programming, Mandala Sketching, Speedcubing, Philately
Your message for the youth of our state?
Keep looking up. Be Curious, Gather Knowledge. Keep sharing it to masses. Keep pushing your limits. Try hard to be better than yesterday yourself. Follow your dreams. Just have faith in yourself. I promise you won’t regret in the end.
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