Indian Astronomers discover one of the farthest star galaxies in the universe - PIB - 01-09-2020
The discovery was made by a team of astronomers led by Dr Kanak Saha from the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) Pune.
AstroSat is India’s first space observatory.
It is the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission aimed at studying celestial sources in X-ray, optical and UV spectral bands simultaneously.
It enables the simultaneous multi-wavelength observations of various astronomical objects with a single satellite.
AstroSat with a lift-off mass of 1515 kg was launched in 2015 into a 650 km orbit inclined at an angle of 6 degrees to the equator by PSLV-C30 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. The minimum useful life of the AstroSat mission is expected to be 5 years.
The satellite is managed by the spacecraft control centre at Mission Operations Complex (MOX) of ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network (ISTRAC), Bengaluru.
Objectives of the AstroSat mission:
To understand high energy processes in binary star systems containing neutron stars and black holes.
Estimate magnetic fields of neutron stars.
Study star birth regions and high energy processes in star systems lying beyond our galaxy.
Detect new briefly bright X-ray sources in the sky.
Perform a limited deep field survey of the Universe in the Ultraviolet region.
The galaxy, called AUDFs01, is 9.3 billion light-years away from Earth.
The galaxy, one of the earliest, is located in the Extreme Deep field.
Even though the observation was made in 2016, it took the scientists almost two years to analyse the data and ascertain that the emission was indeed from a galaxy.
The scientists were able to discover the galaxy by detecting extreme UV radiation emanating from the galaxy.
The discovery was made by the Indian space observatory AstroSat.
It is remarkable that such faint UV radiation has been detected because usually, such low energy photons usually get absorbed on the way or by the earth’s atmosphere.
Even the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) of NASA could not detect this probably due to noise.
India’s AstroSat/UVIT was able to achieve this unique feat because the background noise in the UVIT detector is much less than in the HST.
The discovery has been reported in the leading international journal “Nature Astronomy” published from Britain.