In a first for India, ISRO to Study Black Holes With XPoSat Satellite Launch 2 Years After NASA | Tech News

In a first for India, ISRO to Study Black Holes With XPoSat Satellite Launch 2 Years After NASA

India's ISRO launched its first satellite, XPoSat, to study black holes as it seeks to deepen its space exploration efforts ahead of an ambitious crewed mission next year.

By:BLOOMBERG
| Updated on: Jan 01 2024, 16:18 IST
Aditya-L1 mission: Explore which ISRO camera captured the Sun's image, amidst unimaginable heat
X-ray Polarimeter Satellite
1/6 The Aditya-L1 mission, launched by ISRO on September 2nd, aims to study the solar atmosphere. Recently, Aditya-L1 captured some remarkable photos of the Sun, utilising the Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) onboard the spacecraft. (ISRO)
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2/6 SUIT, installed on the spacecraft, is a Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope designed to capture images of the Sun's photosphere and chromosphere. The photosphere refers to the Sun's surface, while the chromosphere extends from the surface to the outermost atmospheric layer, about 2000 kilometres above. (ISRO)
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3/6 SUIT utilised, for the first time, its capabilities to capture full-disk images of the Sun, showcasing features such as solar flares, sunspots, and tranquil areas. These images, shared by ISRO on Twitter, reveal the Sun in 11 different colours. (ISRO)
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4/6 The consortium of institutions, including Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Center for Excellence in Space Science Indian (CESSI), Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Udaipur Solar Observatory, Tezpur University, and ISRO scientists collaborated to create SUIT, one of the seven payloads on Aditya-L1. (ISRO)
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5/6 The images were captured using the SUIT's onboard camera on December 5th, revealing the opening and closing of the aperture during the inspection. This mechanism facilitates the entry of solar radiation into the payload and thermal filter. A metal dielectric coating has been applied to prevent damage to the mirror and detector due to excessive heat. (ISRO)
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6/6 According to former ISRO scientist Manish Purohit, the metal dielectric coating reflects most solar radiation outside the range of 200 to 400 nanometers, ensuring that only 1 percent of the flux reaches SUIT's main optical chamber. This innovative solution prevents any potential damage, allowing SUIT to successfully capture full-disk images of the Sun. (ISRO)
X-ray Polarimeter Satellite
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The spacecraft, named X-ray Polarimeter Satellite, was propelled into an orbit of 350 kilometers from an island near India’s main spaceport of Sriharikota, off the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. (ISRO)

India's ISRO launched its first satellite, XPoSat, on Monday to study black holes as it seeks to deepen its space exploration efforts ahead of an ambitious crewed mission next year. The spacecraft, named X-ray Polarimeter Satellite, was propelled into an orbit of 350 kilometers from an island near India's main spaceport of Sriharikota, off the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, according to S. Somanath, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation. The XPoSat satellite, weighing about 470 kilograms, will carry out research on X-rays emanating from around 50 celestial objects with the help of two payloads built by ISRO and a Bengaluru-based research institute.

NASA launched a similar mission, the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer, in 2021 to answer questions such as why black holes spin and build on the findings of its flagship telescope Chandra X-ray Observatory that blasted off more than two decades ago. China's National Space Administration launched the country's first X-ray space telescope to observe black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts in 2017.

India's upcoming projects include its first launch of astronauts on a crewed mission, named Gaganyaan, scheduled for 2025. After a successful spacecraft landing near the lunar south pole last year, India is planning to develop a next-generation launch vehicle and a new launchpad, with the goal of landing people on the moon by 2040.

The country is also seeking to tie up with other space majors to further its ambitions. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson visited India in November ahead of a joint US-Indian Earth-observing mission scheduled for launch in 2024.

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First Published Date: 01 Jan, 16:16 IST
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