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

Topics Covered: Awareness in space.

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


India’s multi-wavelength orbiting telescope, AstroSat, has detected light from a galaxy, called AUDFs01, in the extreme-ultraviolet (UV) light.

  • The galaxy is 9.3 billion light years away from Earth.

 Key points:

  • The discovery was an international collaboration by astronomers from India, Switzerland, France, USA, Japan and the Netherlands.
  • This is the first time that star-forming galaxies have been observed in this extreme UV environment. 

Methodology used for this discovery:

The team observed the galaxy within the patch of sky called the Hubble eXtreme Deep field (XDF), which itself sits at the centre of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF). 

  • The HUDF is a small area in the constellation of Fornax, created using Hubble Space Telescope data from 2003 and 2004. It contains thousands of galaxies, and became the deepest image of the universe ever taken at the time.

XDF contains about 5,500 galaxies.

  • AstroSat looked at a part of XDF for 28 hours in October of 2016, a feat only space telescopes could perform because the atmosphere absorbs ultraviolet radiation. 

About AstroSat:

It is India’s first multi-wavelength space telescope, which has five telescopes seeing through different wavelengths simultaneously — visible, near UV, far UV, soft X-ray and hard X-ray.

  • Onboard the AstroSat is a 38-cm wide UltraViolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT), which is capable of imaging in far and near-ultraviolet bands over a wide field of view.
  • AstroSat was launched on 28 September 2015 by ISRO into a near-Earth equatorial orbit.
  • It is a multi-institute collaborative project, involving IUCAA, ISRO, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai), Indian Institute of Astrophysics (Bengaluru), and Physical Research Laboratory (Ahmedabad), among others.



Prelims Link:

  1. Which all countries have launched space based telescopes?
  2. AstroSat was launched by?
  3. About UltraViolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT).
  4. About Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF).
  5. About the Hubble eXtreme Deep field (XDF).
  6. About the constellation of Fornax.

Sources: Indian Express.