HomeLatest NewsISRO Achieves First Pulsar Observation from XPoSat Payload | - Times of...

ISRO Achieves First Pulsar Observation from XPoSat Payload | – Times of India

BENGALURU: The Indian X-ray Polarimeter (POLIX) instrument, onboard Isro’s X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat), has begun scientific observations and generated the first-of-its-kind data on the Crab Pulsar. The observation was conducted between January 15 and 18 and marks a significant milestone for the POLIX instrument, validating its functionality.
POLIX was designed and developed by the X-ray astronomy laboratory at Bengaluru’s Raman Research Institute (RRI). The instrument is built indigenously with the support from Indian industry.
“POLIX observed the Crab Pulsar, a rapidly spinning neutron star located in the Crab Nebula, which emits pulses of X-rays at a rate of about 30 pulses per second. The generated data plot illustrates the time window when X-rays scattered by POLIX’s beryllium scatterer were originally emitted from the pulsar. This represents the first-ever hard X-ray observation of a pulsar in this specific energy range,” Isro said.
By detecting the polarisation of incoming X-rays from the pulsar, Isro said, POLIX facilitates new insights into the physical emission processes close to the neutron star surface. The instrument was activated in stages on January 10 and initial observations were focused on the Crab Pulsar.
“The observations match expectations and validate POLIX’s capabilities. As the sole polarimetry instrument providing coverage in this energy range, POLIX is set to offer unique insights into pulsars, black holes and high-energy astronomical phenomena,” Isro added.
The other instrument onboard XPoSat, named XSPECT, has also been deemed ready for observations. XPoSat is the maiden space telescope for astronomical X-ray polarimetry studies, designed fully in India by ISRO centres and RRI.

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