In a landmark achievement in space missions, Indian astronomers have discovered one of the farthest star galaxies in the universe.
Sharing this information on Tuesday, Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh said it is a matter of pride that India’s first Multi-Wavelength Space Observatory “AstroSat” has detected extreme-UV light from a galaxy located 9.3 billion light-years away from Earth.
The galaxy called AUDFs01 was discovered by a team of astronomers led by Dr Kanak Saha from the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) Pune.
The importance and uniqueness of this original discovery can be made out from the fact that it has been reported in the leading international journal “Nature Astronomy” published from Britain. India’s AstroSat/UVIT was able to achieve this unique feat because the background noise in the UVIT detector is much less than one on the Hubble Space Telescope of US-based NASA.
Jitendra Singh congratulated India’s space scientists for once again proving to the world that India’s capability in space technology has risen to a distinguished level from where our scientists are now offering cues and giving leads to the space scientists in other parts of the world.
According to Professor Shyam Tandon, the excellent spatial resolution and high sensitivity is a tribute to the hard work of the UVIT core team of scientists for over a decade.
According to Director of Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) Dr Somak Ray Chaudhury, this discovery is a very important clue to how the dark ages of the Universe ended and there was light in the Universe. We need to know when this started, but it has been very hard to find the earliest sources of light, he said.
Pertinent to mention that India’s first space observatory AstroSat, which has made this discovery, was launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on September 28, 2015. It was developed by a team led by Shyam Tandon, Ex Emeritus Professor, IUCAA with the full support of ISRO.