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Saturday, April 17, 2021

India’s “AstroSat” telescope discovers one of the earliest galaxies to have formed

Today’s breaking news is coming all the way from Bengaluru about India’s first multi-wavelength orbiting telescope “AstroSat”. The telescope has spotted some sort of light emitted from a galaxy which is named as “AUDFs01”. The light is in the form of extreme-ultraviolet (UV) light. Also, the interesting fact is that the galaxy is 9.3 billion light years away from Earth.


This discovery was a result of the international association by astronomers from India, France, Japan, USA, Switzerland and the Netherlands. It was directed by Dr Kanak Saha who is the associate professor of astronomy at the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) located at Pune.

Methodology

The new galaxy was found in the expanse of space called the “Hubble eXtreme Deep Field” by the widefield “UltraViolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT)” of AstroSat. As per reports, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (HST), which is larger than the UVIT, was unable to detect UV emission from this galaxy as the signals were
too faint.


The term “Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF)” is used to describe a small area in the constellation of Fornax, created using Hubble Space Telescope data from 2003 and 2004. It comprises of thousands of galaxies, and became the deepest image of the universe ever taken at the time.

Saha has stated that “AstroSat/UVIT was able to achieve this unique feat because the background noise in the UVIT detector is much less than the ones on HST (Hubble Space Telescope)”.

As we know that AstroSat is India’s only multi-wavelength space telescope, which has 5 telescopes seeing through different wavelengths all together like visible, near UV, far UV, soft X-ray and hard X-ray. It can also observe the same target in visible, X-ray, and UV wavelengths together.

History

AstroSat was launched on 28 September 2015 by ISRO into a near-Earth equatorial orbit. It is a multiinstitute collaborative project, involving IUCAA, ISRO, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai), Indian Institute of Astrophysics (Bengaluru), and Physical Research Laboratory (Ahmedabad), among
others.

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