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Business News/ Science / News/  ISRO set to launch XPoSat mission on Jan 1 to study polarisation of X-ray sources in space
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ISRO set to launch XPoSat mission on Jan 1 to study polarisation of X-ray sources in space

Through the XPoSat mission, astronomers will try to understand how X-rays work in space

The XPoSat mission will be executed by ISRO’s PSLV at about 9.10 am on January 1. (PTI)Premium
The XPoSat mission will be executed by ISRO’s PSLV at about 9.10 am on January 1. (PTI)

After the historic success of its Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to launch its first X-Ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat) on the first day of 2024 to investigate the intense polarisation of X-ray sources in space.

Through the XPoSat mission, astronomers will try to understand how the X-rays work in space. It will also enable them to unearth new information about some of the major cosmic events.

The mission will be executed by ISRO’s PSLV at about 9.10 am on January 1.

The XPoSat aims to study the 50 brightest known sources in the space, including pulsars, black hole X-ray binaries, active galactic nuclei, neutron stars, and non-thermal supernova remnants. The satellite will be placed in a circular low Earth orbit of 500–700 km, with a mission lifespan of at least five years.

After the XPoSat gets placed into a low earth orbit (LEO) of about 650 km, it will start providing data for the next five years.

According to ISRO, the X-Ray Polarimeter Satellite will have two main payloads –  one developed by Bengaluru-based Raman Research Institute (RRI) and the other developed by ISRO’s U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), ISRO.

POLIX (Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays) -- the main payload will serve as an X-ray Polarimeter designed for astronomical observations within the medium energy band of 8-30 keV. It will also observe bright astronomical sources across various categories.

XSPECT, another payload is an X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing instrument. It is designed to offer fast timing and spectroscopic resolution in soft X-rays (0.8-15 keV), and it will observe a variety of sources, including X-ray pulsars, black hole binaries, low-magnetic field neutron stars (NS), active galactic nuclei (AGNs), and magnetars. 

The X-Ray Polarimeter mission is India's first, and the world's second, following NASA's Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) launched in 2021.

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Published: 27 Dec 2023, 05:26 PM IST
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