AstroSat, India’s first multi-wavelength cosmic observatory has completed five years of imaging celestial bodies in space.
Launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on September 28, 2015, in the five years of its activity, AstroSat has accomplished a significant milestone. It has completed 1,166 observations of 800 extraordinary celestial sources proposed by researchers both from India and abroad, a statement by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) said.
AstroSat has investigated stars, star clusters, mapping of enormous and small satellite worlds of the Milky Way called ‘Magellanic Clouds’, an energetic wonder in the Universe, for example, the ultra-violet counterparts to gamma-ray blasts, supernova, active galactic cores.
“Its superior spatial resolution capability has enabled astronomers to probe star formation in galaxies as well as resolve the cores of star clusters (three times better than the last NASA mission, GALEX),” the statement said. “Observations from UVIT has recently led to the discovery of a galaxy located at a distance of about 10 billion light-years from Earth and emitting extreme ultraviolet radiation that can ionize the intergalactic medium,” it stated.
AstroSat has demonstrated to a significant satellite equipped for performing synchronous observations over a scope of wavelengths from the far ultra-violet to the hard X-ray band.
The Ultra-Violet Imaging Telescope, or the UVIT, is a exceptional 3-in-1 imaging telescope at the same time observing the noticeable, the near-ultra-violet (NUV), and the far-ultra-violet (FUV) spectrum. It is one of the five payloads on board AstroSat.
Weighing a total of 230 kilograms, the UVIT involves two separate telescopes. One of them works in the visible (320-550 nm) and the NUV (200-300 nm). The second works just in the FUV (130-180 nm).
The UVIT venture was driven by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), an establishment of the DST as a partnership with the Inter University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, a some centers of ISRO and the Canadian Space Agency.
“The Ultra-Violet Imaging Telescope, which is a marvellous piece of engineering, is a testimony to the power of several scientific agencies working together in multidisciplinary mode with a shared purpose,” stated Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, DST.