Academic qualifications

• Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany
    PhD, Astronomy (2016 - Present)

Argelander Institute for Astronomy, University of Bonn, Germany
    M.Sc., Astrophysics (2013 - 2015)

Fergusson College, University of Pune, India
    B.Sc., Physics (2009 - 2012)

A detailed CV can be found here.


Birth of stars

My PhD thesis focuses on studying how stars are born via the gravitational collapse of dense cores in magnetized molecular clouds. We perform radiation hydrodynamic simulations using the PLUTO code as a tool, in order to understand the complex physical processes involved in the very early stages of star formation. A brief overview of my recent work can be found in this poster. I am also interested in understanding the physics involved in the formation and early evolution of circumstellar accretion disks aka the birthplace of planets.

Thermal evolution showing the different stages of forming a star from a 1 M cloud at an initial temperature of 10 K.

Fly-by effects

The aim of my Master thesis was to study the fate of protoplanetary disks due to the influence of parabolic star-disk encounters for both coplanar as well as inclined prograde and retrograde cases. For different mass ratios between the perturber and the central star, the effects of varying periastron distances on the final disk size were considered and compared for the different encounter scenarios. These effects can be viewed on our interactive online database. We also applied this study to the outer solar system. A short summary of my work can be seen in this poster and a detailed thesis can be accessed here. This work was done at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) under the supervision of Prof. Susanne Pfalzner.

The video illustrates an encounter scenario where the particles marked in blue are those that remain bound to the host star and the particles in red become unbound due to the encounter. The above example is for a star-disk encounter at 100 au for an initial 100 au disk. The host and the perturbing star both have mass of 1 M.

Exploring the unknown worlds

As a part of my bachelor thesis, we observed two extrasolar planets, namely WASP-12 b & HAT-P-7 b, using the transit method. The project involved using the software package IRAF to perform transit detections using defocused photometry techniques and introduced imaging as a probing technique to study these distant planets. The transit data was obtained using the Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT), Hanle, Ladakh, India. A detailed thesis can be accessed here. This work was done at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, India under the guidance of Dr. Firoza Sutaria.

Transit light curve of WASP-12. The dip in the light curve indicates the presence of a transiting exoplanet (WASP-12 b).


Bhandare A. and Pfalzner S., "DESTINY: Database for the Effect of STellar encounters on dIsks and plaNetary sYstems", 2019, Computational Astrophysics and Cosmology, submitted.

The ‘Oumuamua ISSI team , "Natural History of Oumuamua" , 2019, Nature Astronomy, 3, 594-602.

Bhandare A., Kuiper R., Henning Th., Fendt C., Marleau G. D., and Kölligan A., "First core properties: From low- to high-mass star formation" , 2018, A&A, 618, A95.

• Pfalzner S., Bhandare A., Vincke K., and Lacerda P., "Outer solar system possibly shaped by a stellar fly-by" , 2018, ApJ, 863, 45.

• Pfalzner S., Bhandare A. and Vincke K., "Did a stellar fly-by shape the planetary system around Pr 0211 in the cluster M 44?" , 2017, A&A, 610, A33.

Bhandare A., Breslau A. and Pfalzner S., "Effects of inclined star-disk encounter on protoplanetary disk size" , 2016, A&A, 594, A53.

• Pfalzner S., Kirk H., Sills A., Urquhart J. S., Kauffmann J., Kuhn M., Bhandare A., Menten K. M., "Observational constraints on star cluster formation theory. I. The mass-radius relation" , 2016, A&A, 586, A68.


Room 216B • Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie • Königstuhl 17 • D-69117 Heidelberg • Germany

bhandare [at] mpia [dot] de