होम SCI. AND TECH. XPOSAT : ISRO’s mission to study Black Hole

XPOSAT : ISRO’s mission to study Black Hole

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Introduction:

In a groundbreaking leap towards unraveling the secrets of the universe, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched the XPOSAT mission, a cutting-edge venture designed to explore the cosmos in unprecedented detail. With a focus on X-ray observations, this mission promises to shed light on the most elusive phenomena in our celestial surroundings.

About XPOSAT:

XPoSat is a satellite mission that will explore the polarimetric properties of various X-ray sources in the universe, such as black holes, neutron stars, and pulsars, under extreme physical conditions. The satellite will orbit the Earth at a low altitude and carry two scientific instruments. The main instrument, POLIX, will determine the degree and angle of polarization of X-ray photons with energies between 8 and 30 keV, which originate from distant celestial objects.

XPOSAT : ISRO's mission to study Black Hole

Black hole (representative image)

A Quantum Leap in Space Exploration

XPOSAT, short for X-ray Probing of Star-Forming And AGN (Active Galactic Nuclei) Tori, represents a quantum leap in India’s space exploration capabilities. Launched aboard a state-of-the-art satellite, the mission aims to observe and analyze X-rays emitted by celestial objects, providing scientists with crucial insights into the nature of these enigmatic entities.

Unveiling the Universe’s Hidden Treasures

One of the primary objectives of the XPOSAT mission is to study star-forming regions and active galactic nuclei. By capturing high-resolution X-ray images, scientists hope to uncover the intricate processes involved in the birth of stars and the dynamics of these powerful galactic centers. This mission is expected to contribute significantly to our understanding of the fundamental forces governing the cosmos.

Cutting-Edge Technology at the Core

Equipped with advanced X-ray detectors and imaging instruments, XPOSAT is poised to capture data with unparalleled precision. The satellite’s sophisticated technology allows it to peer through the cosmic dust that often obscures traditional observations in other wavelengths, enabling scientists to study celestial phenomena that were once hidden from view.

International Collaboration for Cosmic Discoveries

The XPOSAT mission is not just a national endeavor but a collaborative effort with international space agencies and research institutions. Sharing data and insights, scientists from around the globe are working together to maximize the scientific output of this ambitious mission. This collaborative spirit underscores the importance of pooling resources and expertise to tackle the profound mysteries of the universe.

Educational Outreach and Public Engagement

Recognizing the significance of public engagement in space exploration, ISRO has initiated extensive educational outreach programs to involve students and enthusiasts in the excitement of the XPOSAT mission. Live broadcasts, workshops, and interactive sessions aim to inspire the next generation of scientists and foster a deeper appreciation for the wonders of the cosmos.

Facts about Mission:

  • Cost: The official cost of the XPoSat mission hasn’t been publicly disclosed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). However, sources estimate the total cost to be around ₹350 crore (approximately USD 45 million).
  • Status: XPoSat is currently operational and functioning well. It was successfully launched on January 1, 2024, aboard the PSLV-C58 rocket and placed in a circular low Earth orbit at an altitude of around 650 km. The satellite is expected to have a mission lifespan of at least five years, potentially even longer.
  • Manufacturer: Raman Research Institute (RRI) and U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC)
  • Weight: 480 kg (1,060 lb)
  • Dimensions: 65 × 65 × 60 cm (26 × 26 × 24 in)
  • Payloads:
    • POLIX (Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays): Measures the polarization of X-rays in the 8-30 keV energy range.
    • XSPECT (X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing): Provides spectroscopic information in the 0.8-15 keV energy range and monitors temporal changes in X-ray emission.
  • Mission objectives:
    • Study the polarization of X-rays from bright cosmic sources, including pulsars, black hole X-ray binaries, active galactic nuclei, and supernova remnants.
    • Understand the nature of magnetic fields and radiation processes in these sources.
    • Complement the efforts of other space agencies by observing X-rays across a broad energy range.

Future Prospects and Beyond:

As XPOSAT embarks on its journey through the cosmos, scientists and space enthusiasts alike eagerly await the groundbreaking discoveries it promises to unveil. With its state-of-the-art technology and collaborative approach, this mission is set to contribute significantly to humanity’s collective knowledge of the universe, paving the way for future space exploration endeavors.

In the quest to understand the cosmos, ISRO’s XPOSAT mission stands as a testament to human curiosity and the relentless pursuit of knowledge, promising a future where the mysteries of the universe are no longer beyond our grasp.

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