#GS3 #Science & Technology
AstroSat, India’s first multi-wavelength satellite that has five unique-X ray and ultraviolet telescopes working in tandem, has detected extreme UV light from a galaxy called AUDFs01, 9.3 billion light-years away from Earth.
What did the research say?
- The team of scientists observed the galaxy, which is located in the Extreme Deep field, through AstroSat. These observations lasted for more than 28 hours in October 2016. But it took nearly two years since then to carefully analyse the data to ascertain that the emission is indeed from the galaxy.
- This is a very important clue to how the dark ages of the Universe ended and there was light in the Universe. Since UV radiation is absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, it has to be observed from space.
- Earlier, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (HST), which is significantly larger than the Ultra Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) on AstroSat, did not detect any UV emission (with energy greater than 13.6 eV) from this galaxy because it is too faint.
- AstroSat is the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission aimed at studying celestial sources in X-ray, optical and UV spectral bands simultaneously. The payloads cover the energy bands of Ultraviolet (Near and Far), limited optical and X-ray regime (0.3 keV to 100keV).
- One of the unique features of AstroSat mission is that it enables the simultaneous multi-wavelength observations of various astronomical objects with a single satellite.
- AstroSat with a lift-off mass of 1515 kg was launched on September 28, 2015 into a 650 km orbit inclined at an angle of 6 deg to the equator by PSLV-C30 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The minimum useful life of the AstroSat mission is expected to be 5 years.
- The scientific objectives of AstroSat mission are :
- To understand high energy processes in binary star systems containing neutron stars and black holes;
- Estimate magnetic fields of neutron stars; Study star birth regions and high energy processes in star systems lying beyond our galaxy;
- Detect new briefly bright X-ray sources in the sky, and
- Perform a limited deep field survey of the Universe in the Ultraviolet region.