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Astrosat

Astrosat is termed to be India’s first multi wavelength space observatory. Launched on a PSLV-XL last week (28-September), this satellite aims to provide a detailed understanding of our universe through simultaneous multi-wavelength observations. Following the success of satellite borne Indian X-ray astronomy Experiment (IXAE), various astronomical institutes, researchers, universities and scientists from across the country will observe the universe through optical, ultraviolet, low and high energy X-ray spectrum using Astronaut.

Launched into near-Earth, equatorial orbit, the five instruments cover the visible spectrum (320 to 530 nm), near ultraviolet (180 to 300 nm), far ultra violet (130 to 180 nm), soft X-ray (0.3-8 KeV and 2-10 KeV) and hard X-ray (3-80 KeV and 10-150 KeV) spectrum. The data thus observed by all the five payloads will be received at the ISTRAC telemetry station – mission operations complex (MOX) and then processed, stored and distributed by the Indian Space Science Data Center (ISSDC) at Byalalu located close to Bangalore.

Astrosat in clean room at ISRO Satellite Center.   (Source :: ISRO)


The scientifc mission objectives of Astrosat includes ::

  1. Understanding of high energy processes happening in binary star systems which comprises of black holes and neutron stars.

  2. Analyse the magnetic fields of neutron stars.

  3. Observe, analyse and understand the birth region of stars beyond our galaxy.

  4. Observe our galaxy and nearby galaxies for any bright X-ray sources.

  5. Execute a limited deep field survey of universe in the ultraviolet region.

In addition to the above objectives, Astrosat will also analyse pulsations in X-ray pulsars, quasi-periodic oscillations, flickering, flaring and other variations in X-ray binaries, Short and long term intensity variations in active galactic nuclei, Time-lag studies in low/hard X-rays and UV optical radiation and low-to moderate resolution spectroscopy for a wide energy band with primary emphasis on X-ray emitting objects.

All the above mentioned mission objectives would be facilitated by the 5 onboard payloads as mentioned below.

[1] The Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) – which helps observe visible, near UV and far UV regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

[2] Large Area X-ray Proportional Counter (LAXPC) – helps in studying the X-ray emissions from X-ray binaries, active galactic nuclei and other cosmic sources.

[3] Soft X-ray (SXT) helps in observing X-ray spectrum from distant celestial bodies, its variations within the 0.3 to 8 KeV range.

[4] Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI) helps in observing X-ray spectrum in the 10-100 KeV range.

[5] Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM) helps in long term monitoring of bright X-ray sources from binary stars and also detect and locate sources that emit bright X-ray sources for short periods of time.

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