New Delhi: Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Monday said that the nation’s multi-wavelength space telescope AstroSat measured the X-ray polarisation of the Crab pulsar (star) in the Taurus constellation.
“AstroSat accomplished the difficult task of measuring X-ray polarisation of Crab pulsar in the Taurus constellation during 18-months of its study for the first time,” the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement.
The team documented the results of their eighteen-month study of the Crab pulsar and measured the variations of polarisation as this highly magnetised object spins around 30 times every second.
A pulsar is a rotating neutron star or white dwarf, which emits electromagnetic radiation. Neutron stars and black holes are examples of such objects.
“The universe is home to many such exotic objects with conditions quite different from the Earth. It is essential to study them to ensure our predictions describe what goes on in and around them. They are less than a few tens of km but have masses more than that of the Sun and are known as compact objects,” noted the statement.
Astronomers have studied properties of this radiation to make a picture of compact objects and their surroundings.
Another feature of the measurements is the study of polarisation properties at different rotation phases of the pulsar, which has not been done so far, reiterated Prof. SantoshVadawale of PRL Ahmedabad