Indian Satellite AstroSat Achieves Major Breakthrough


New Delhi:  India’s first multi-wavelength satellite, AstroSat has detected an extreme ultraviolet (UV) light from a galaxy which is 9.3 billion light-years away from Earth.

A release from the Pune-based Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics said that a global team led by scientists of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics(IUCAA) have achieved the major breakthrough.

“India’s first multi-wavelength satellite, which has five unique X-ray and ultraviolet telescopes working in tandem, AstroSat, has detected extreme-UV light from a galaxy, called AUDFs01, 9.3 billion light-years away from Earth,” the release said.

An international team of astronomers led by Dr. Kanak Saha, associate professor of astronomy at the IUCAA, made the discovery and published it on August 24 by ‘Nature Astronomy’.

The team comprised of scientists from India, France, Switzerland, the USA, Japan, and The Netherlands.

Saha and his team observed the galaxy, which is located in the Hubble 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 analyze the data to ascertain that the emission is indeed from the galaxy. Since UV radiation is absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere, it has to be observed from space, it said.

Earlier, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (HST), a significantly larger than UVIT (UV imaging telescope), did not detect any UV emission (with energy greater than 13.6 eV) from this galaxy because it is too faint, it said.

AstroSat/UVIT was able to achieve this unique feat because the background noise in the UVITdetector is much less than the ones on HST,” said the release quoting Saha.

Image Source: Internet

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