Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Astrosat, Chandra and Hubble jointly detect massive cosmic explosion

Mumbai: Three space-based observatories Astrosat, Chandra, Hubble Space Telescope and a ground-based observatory HARPS have simultaneously detected a massive coronal explosion on the nearest planet-hosting star 'Proxima Centauri', a top scientist revealed here on Wednesday.

The chance detection on May 31 this year came during a planned joint multi-wavelength simultaneous observational campaign by these observatories studying the 'Proxima Centauri' group of stars which hosts an Earth-like habitable planet -- Proxima Centaur b -- orbiting within (Proxima Centauri) its habitable zone, said Professor K.P. Singh, a scientist from Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) here.

"Our nearest neighbour, 'Proxima Centauri', at 4.25 light years, is one such star with a spectral type M5.5 and hosting an Earth-like planet, Proxima Centauri b, orbiting within its habitable zone," said Singh.

However, the habitability of the planet depends on the high-energy radiation as a result of the chromospheric and coronal activity of the host star.

Astrosat is a multi-wavelength astronomy mission built by a consortium of institutes across India led by ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC, Bengaluru); TIFR, Mumbai; IIA, Bengaluru; Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC, Thiruvananthapuram); Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA, Pune); and Space Applications Centre (SAC, Ahmedabad) in collaboration with University of Leicester (UK) and the Canadian Space Agency.

The Chandra programme is managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Alabama (USA). The flight operations and the Chandra Science are controlled by the Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts (US).


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