- ASTROSAT, India’s first multi-wavelength satellite observatory, has detected an extreme ultraviolet (UV) light from a galaxy which is 9.3 billion light-years away from Earth.
The discovery is a very important clue to how the dark ages of the universe ended and there was light in the universe.
India’s first multi-wavelength satellite Astrosat has five unique X-ray and ultraviolet telescopes working in tandem. It has detected extreme-UV light from a galaxy, called AUDFs01, 9.3 billion light-years away from Earth.
The research team comprised scientists from India, France, Switzerland, the USA, Japan, and The Netherlands.
Scientist and his team observed the galaxy, which is located in the Hubble Extreme Deep field, through AstroSat.
It took nearly two years to carefully analyze the data to ascertain that the emission is indeed from the galaxy. Since UV radiation is absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere, it has to be observed from space.
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.
AstroSat/UVIT was able to achieve this unique feat because the background noise in the UVITdetector is much less than the ones on HST.
- Astrosat is India’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space telescope. It was launched on a PSLV-XL on 28 September 2015. With the success of this satellite, ISRO has proposed launching AstroSat-2 as a successor for Astrosat.
- Astrosat performs multi-wavelength observations covering spectral bands from radio, optical, IR, UV, and X-ray wavelengths.
- The mission would also study near simultaneous multi-wavelength data from different variable sources.
The scientific payload contains six instruments.
- The Ultra Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT
- The Soft X-ray imaging Telescope (SXT)
- The LAXPC Instrument
- The Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI)
- The Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM)
- The Charged Particle Monitor (CPM)
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