Nepali Scientist Lujendra Ojha spots possible water on Mars

Lujendra Ojha, 21-year-old space scientist from Kathmandu, Nepal has spotted signs of possible saltwater flows on Mars. NASA, in its press conference held yesterday (August 4, 2011) confirmed the possibility of liquid essential for life existence on Mars.

Nepali Scientist Lujendra Ojha

Ojha has co-authored study in the journal Science suggesting that there is liquid water during warmer seasons on Mars. Mars discovery was an outcome of an independent project he was doing with professor Alfred McEwen, lead author of the new study published in Science.

Washington Post, that talks about the dark finger like streaks appearing on surface of mars (that suggests evidence of salty water on Mars), puts Ojha in context that as [quote]“The dark streaks were initially noticed by a student at the school in images sent back by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The pixelated images were taken as far back as 2007, but with so much data coming in from space missions, they had remained unstudied. McEwan suggested that the student — geophysics junior Lujendra Ojha — examine over time the locations with streaks, and Ojha found that the streaks changed dramatically by season.”[/quote]

In a context on how an undergrad spotted possible water on Mars, CNN says “Using a computer algorithm to examine images taken in the same crater as the gullies Dundas had examined, Ojha removed visual distortions, such as shadows, from images of a crater taken at different points in time. With that technique, he compared the images to identify the changes over time. That’s how Ojha noticed irregular features in the crater that weren’t related to the gullies.”

Space scientists have searched for signs of life on mars for decades and have repeatedly come up with evidences suggesting so. This happens to be an exciting discovery and hopefully open doors to start planning missions to look for signs of life on Mars.

About Lujendra Ojha

Nepali student Lujendra Ojha is an Undergraduate Intern at Department of Planetary Sciences, Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at University of Arizona in Tucson (AZ 85721), United States. Ojha is 21 years old boy, originally from Mhepi, kathamndu Nepal. He has moved to U.S at the age of 15 and did his high school from there. He lives in Tucson, Arizona U.S.A. He is now undergraduate student at University of Arizona studying Geophysics and during his independent study he discovered possibility of liquid formation in Mars. He is Planning to graduate soon and wants to do further study in Planetary science. He can be reached via Email: luju at

Sad thing is that the news of this young achiever hasn’t profoundly made it to media in Nepal and there are Indian news agencies such as Indian express who have already claimed Lujendra Ojha as Indian-origin scientist. Lujendra Ojha has been mentioned in thousands of news channels and websites including msnbc, fox news, discovery news, Washington post, LA times, Science magazines etc… following the groundbreaking discovery. Shame on Nepali Media!!

[highlight]Special request: Please promote this news as much as you can!! Let’s be proud of our young Nepali Space scientist for this awesome discovery![/highlight]

Image via CNN

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  1. 1

    I congratulate Mr. Lujendra Ojha, who is only 21 years. He was assisting Prof. Alfred McEwen of the University of Arizona, Tucson. It is not wise to say Ojha’s research …It is Prof’s project. In Prof’s project, he discovered something moving….i appreciate that he worked hard to study all pictures and found some changes going on……but it doesn’t mean it is his finding…so we cannot see his names in international news….he is still young….he should not take this as egotism. I will be more happy if he continues the study and become Professor one day. Also media should not hype this news, as if he is the main person…I know lot of Asians working with Professors in Europe and US, who helps in their research…….
    Please don’t take me as I am negative towards him.

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      you did typical Nepali reply…. he is there trying to fame Nepal and you are there pulling him down! This is the reason Nepal never develop!! Keep on good job!…. Did any Nepali guy or girl ever even did anything comparable to he did??? He is all over CNN! he shooked NASA scientists and other scientists all over the world!…. man i don’t understand why Nepali people are so different!… If he was originally from USA his names would have been in each one’s mouth… all over the papers… internet … but unlucky guy….. he is rather pulled down by his own Nepali brothers! :)….. Like Nepali Politicians, whoever tries to do any good to the country then the other politicians starts criticizing his work! and don’t let him do that!…….. exactly same!…

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    नेपालीको छोरोले आज एउटा गर्व गर्ने बाटो दिंदा, गर्वले विश्व भरिको नेपालीको मन किन छुदैन होला र ? अवश्य गर्वले छाती फुलेको छ नेपाल आमाको अनि नेपालीहरुको ! मुरी मुरी, बधाई यवं आगामी दिनको प्रत्येक पाईलाहरुमा पनि सफलताले चुमी रहेको खबर सुन्न पाईयोस नेपाली अनि नेपाल आमाले,भाई लुजेंद्र ओझा !धेरै२ धन्यबाद !!! यहि हामी सबैको शुभकामना !!!
    मनोज फुकेट

  4. 5

    नेपालीको गौरव, पहिचान बढाउने सगरमाथा , गौतम बुद्ध ,खगेन्द्र ,प्रबल , अनुराधा थिए तर आज बिज्ञान जगत बाट पनि यौटा तारा जन्मिएको छ जुन तारा प्रति हामि सम्पूर्ण नेपालीले गौरव गर्न कन्जुशियाँयी गर्नु हुदैन जस्तो लाग्दछ तर यौटा हाश्यश्पद कुरा केहो भने संसारमा कुनै नेपालीले नाम , प्रसिद्धि कमायो भने दक्षिणी मुलुकले आफ्नो सम्पति सम्झन्छ त्यसैले गौतम बुद्ध अनि प्रबल गुरुङ जस्तै लुजेंद्र पनि नेपाली हो भनेर
    हामीले संचार गर्नु पर्ने भएको छ l तर जेहोश लुजेंद्र तिमि लाइ धेरै धेरै शुभकामना तिम्रो नाम अझै संसारमा फैलियोश र बिज्ञानिकहरुको नाममा हामि तिम्रो नाम एक पटक होइन सधै भरि हेर्न र सुन्न चाहन्छौ , तिमि लाइ धेरै धेरै बधाई सहित शुभकामना l

    सरोज भट्टराई
    नोर्थ पोले , अलास्का

    • 6

      साह्रै राम्रो भन्नु भो, सरोजजी। सत् प्रतिशत सहमत।

      सन्दीप मल्ल
      आर्लिङ्टन, टेक्सस

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    ओझा जी लाई धेरै धेरै धनयाबाद. बास्तवमा यो नेपालीको लागि गर्बको कुरा हो/ मलाई यहाँ अर्को नेपाली scientist को पनि कुरा गर्न मन लग्यो/

    त्यस्तै आज भन्दा १० वर्ष आगाडी अर्का नेपाली (दिनेश गौतम) ले Science जर्नल मा मुसाको गिदीबाट इन्सुलिन receptor (जसमा pancrease बाट निस्कने इन्सुलिन बाधीन्छ) निकाली त्यसको असर diabetis , ओबेसिटी र Alzheimer ‘s रोगहरुमा हेर्नु भएको थियो/ मुसा को गिदी मा इन्सुलिन receptor नभएको खण्डमा मुसा मोटो हुने, खाने कुरा बढी खाने र सबै भन्दा नसोचेको कुरा के भने; उक्त भालेमुसालेचाही विर्य राम्रो संग बनाउन नसक्ने र पोथीमुसाले चाही ova उत्पादन कम गर्ने देखियो/ यो चाही मुसाको ह्य्पोथालामस मा हुने लेउटिनइजीग हर्मोन निस्कन नसकेरएको हो/ तसर्थ गिदीको भइन्सुलिन receptor ले ह्य्पोथालामसको लेउटिनइजीग होर्मोंन लाई आसर गर्छ/ उक्त अध्यनको Abstract र जर्नलको लिंक तल छ/ उक्त article ९५० पटक भन्दा बढी अरु जर्नलहरुले रेफर गरेका छन/

    मैले यहाँ के भन्न खोजेको भने, आझै कति नेपाली बैज्ञानिक होलान जुन हामीलाई तह छैन/

    Science. 2000 Sep 22;289(5487):2122-5.
    Role of brain insulin receptor in control of body weight and reproduction.
    Brüning JC, Gautam D, Burks DJ, Gillette J, Schubert M, Orban PC, Klein R, Krone W, Müller-Wieland D, Kahn CR.
    SourceKlinik II und Poliklinik für Innere Medizin and Center of Molecular Medicine (ZMMK) der Universität zu Köln, Joseph Stelzmann Strasse 9, 50931 Cologne, Germany.

    Insulin receptors (IRs) and insulin signaling proteins are widely distributed throughout the central nervous system (CNS). To study the physiological role of insulin signaling in the brain, we created mice with a neuron-specific disruption of the IR gene (NIRKO mice). Inactivation of the IR had no impact on brain development or neuronal survival. However, female NIRKO mice showed increased food intake, and both male and female mice developed diet-sensitive obesity with increases in body fat and plasma leptin levels, mild insulin resistance, elevated plasma insulin levels, and hypertriglyceridemia. NIRKO mice also exhibited impaired spermatogenesis and ovarian follicle maturation because of hypothalamic dysregulation of luteinizing hormone. Thus, IR signaling in the CNS plays an important role in regulation of energy disposal, fuel metabolism, and reproduction.११०००११४

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    नेपाल कै ईतिहास मा पहिलो हो पटक internationally आफुलाई प्रमाणित गर्नसकेको छ ,त्यस सफलता को लागो नेपाल का तर्फा बाट space scientist लुरेंद्र ओझा लाई हार्दिक बधाई छ

  7. 10

    To ,Dear lugendra,what u said in yr research is perfectly acceptable,plz keep it up,u bcome the icon of the world,n i hope that u hav capability 2 bcome nobelist of the world from nepal,one most importantly u r in the place of showin yr talent,u luky boy,best of luk,kamal s rana, Physics,studen,bhu,banaras hindu univ.,india

  8. 11

    congrulation u have kept our nepali name in our history also u must do more some thing for our country we all nepali are in your hope.


  9. 12

    congratulation to u Lujendra for ur invention its a proud of the all Nepalis but big shame for the media like kantipur, abc news, and all the channels who r not aware of this thing and more over the political leaders they should know this things so that our tiny country can b known by the whole world.

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    hey congratulation :) so glad about it
    all the best for your future and i hope you work further more:)
    it’s greattttt keep it up bro:)

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    ग्रेअत लुजेंद्र यौ हवे मदे उस फील प्रौद सो चोन्ग्रसुलेशन एंड बेस्ट ओफ लुच्क फोए फुर्थेर मोरे इन्वेस्तिगेशन

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    WE अरे वेरी मुछ फृओऊड ओफ फोर मर.लुजेंद्र ओझा फोर हिस आछःईएVएंएण्ट इन स्पचे ऋएषेआऋछः.

    गोकुलानन्द OJHA

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