On August 24, 2020, in accordance with the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) in Pune, Maharashtra, India’s first multi- wavelength satellite observatory, ASTROSAT, has detected an extreme ultraviolet (UV) light from a galaxy called “AUDFs01” which is 9.3 billion light-years away from Earth. The galaxy is located in the Hubble Extreme Deep field (XDF).
- XDF is the deepest image of the small patch of sky (30 millionth of the whole sky) in the constellation of Fornax by combining the NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Hubble observations in the past decade. The image contains several of the most distant objects ever identified including around 5500 galaxies.
- The discovery of UV light from AUDFs01 was made by an international team of astronomers from India, France, Switzerland, the USA (United States of America), Japan and The Netherlands which was led by Dr Kanak Saha, associate professor of astronomy at the IUCAA.
- The study is published in “Nature Astronomy”.
-These UV observations lasted for more than 28 hours in October 2016 and it took nearly two years since then to carefully analyse the data to ascertain that the emission is indeed from the galaxy.
-This discovery is an achievement for India because earlier NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (HST), significantly larger than AstroSat /UVIT (UV imaging telescope), did not detect any UV emission (with energy greater than 13.6 eV) from this galaxy.
What is ASTROSAT?
Launched in 2015, it is the first dedicated Indian astronomy mission aimed at studying celestial sources in X-ray, optical and UV spectral bands simultaneously. Its expected minimum life is 5 years.
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About Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA):
Director– Dr Somak Raychaudhury
Location – Pune, Maharashtra