The Launch of ASTROSAT
The Indian Space Research Organization launched Indian's first space observatory, ASTROSAT, on September 28, 2015 at 10 am (IST). ASTROSAT was launched on an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota. ASTROSAT is a multi-wavelength space observatory which carries 5 astronomical instruments: the UVIT, a pair of ultraviolet telescopes covering the far UV to optical range; the LAXPC, the Large Area Xenon Proportional Counter, a trio of detctors covering the medium to hard X-ray energy band; the Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT), an imaging telescope covering the soft to medium X-ray energy band; the CZTI, a cadmium-zinc-telluride imaging detector covering the hard X-ray band; and the SSM, an all-sky monitor designed to scan the entire sky every 6 hours to detect transient X-ray sources. The image above shows the launch of the PSLV carrying ASTROSAT, while the inset is a drawing of the observatory with the instruments labelled. ASTROSAT is currently in its post-launch instrument check-out phase, in which each instrument is carefully turned on and evaluated. ASTROSAT will provide a unique platform for the study of neutron stars, black holes, normal stars, galaxies, and the structure and evolution of the Universe. Observing time on ASTROSAT will be competitively awarded starting approximately one year after launch.
Published: October 5, 2015
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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Monday, 05-Oct-2015 08:09:02 EDT