crab nebula astrosat The TeCake

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has released the first image captured by ASTROSAT on October 6. India’s first dedicated space observatory has clicked stunning image Crab Nebula which is one brightest X-ray source in the sky. Since the launch of ASTROSAT on 29 September, almost a month has passed and it has already started mesmerising star gazers and ISRO has promised that a lot more will come from the camera of space observatory satellite.

According to an ISRO official, “The  mission  envisages an  earth orbiting scientific satellite with payloads capable of simultaneously observing the universe in the visible, ultraviolet and X-ray regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.” The satellite has the capability to observe multiple wavelengths including ultraviolet and X-rays which will help scientists in studying distant star, white dwarfs and pulsars. In addition, it will also study the supermassive black hole situated at the centre of our galaxy Milky Way. According to ISRO, equipments of satellite are designed to train itself while observing the black hole.

ISRO’s low-cost 1.5-ton satellite was launched by a trusted Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C-30. ASTROSAT which is injected into a 650 km orbit is equipped with one UV telescope, a charge particle monitor and will carry four  X-ray payloads.Canadian Space Agency and University of Leicester, UK have helped in designing two of the payloads. Payload of the satellite 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.

India is only the fourth nation to achieve the feat after the US, Russia and Japan. Experts say that India’s ASTROSAT is far more capable than other space observatory satellites including NASA’s GALEX (Galaxy Evolution Explorer) and Japan’s X-ray astronomy observatory. It is believed that ASTROSAT will capture and send more crisper, sharper, brighter and detailed pictures in coming future.

ISRO revealed that the space observatory will observe black holes present in our galaxy like GRS 1915+105, Cygnus X-1, Cygnus X-3 in November. After that, ASTROSAT will also peek at other celestial bodies. Following picture of Crab Nebula was captured on 6 October and has X-rays above 35 Kev and the centre bright spot indicates carb.

First Published on Oct 14, 2015, 07:56 PM
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