ISRO’ has successfully received the first astronomer’s telegram (Atel no. 8185) from the Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM) observations aboard ASTROSAT. India’s first dedicated multiwavelength space observatory satellite started peeking into the sky for some stunning shot soon after entering the orbit and finally on October 6 it captured Crab Nebula with X-rays above 35 Kev.
“The Scanning sky Monitor (SSM) was pointed to GRS 1915+105 and caught it exhibiting the ‘beta’ class of variability on 14 October 2015. This is one of the many types of variability this source exhibits some of which are associated with its spectral states also,” said ISRO official. The Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT) aboard satellite was switched on October 15 while the three channels of UV imaging telescope — High voltage of Near UV, Visible channel and Far UV channel were switched on October 16 and 17.
ASTROSAT is equipped with one UV telescope, a charge particle monitor (CPM) and carries four X-ray payloads. The Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI) became fully operational on October 5 and on the next day itself ASTROSAT captured the astonishing image of Crab Nebula. First detected by Chinese astronomers back in 1024, Crab Nebula is remanent of supernova and is the brightest source of X-rays in the sky.
ASTROSAT was developed by ISRO along with four other Indian institutions — Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics and Raman Research Institute. It is low-cost 1.5 ton satellite that was launched by ISRO’s most trusted Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-30.
The dedicated space observatory is capable of observing multiple wavelengths including ultraviolet and X-rays. The data obtained will help scientists in studying distant star, white dwarfs and pulsars.
Moreover, ISRO has promised that many more astonishing images will be clicked by the ASTROSAT and people can expect few images after October 25. An ISRO official revealed that the satellite will observe black holes including GRS 1915+105, Cygnus X-1, Cygnus X-3 located on our galaxy in November. The satellite will not stop there, and will peek into other celestial bodies.