Bengaluru: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has released a stunning view of Crab Nebula captured by the Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI), the hard X-ray detector on board Astrosat.
ISRO tweeted the enthralling blue picture of the Nebula, captured by Astrosat's camera on October 9, 2015, on its official Twitter page.
— ISRO (@isro) October 12, 2015
The Crab Nebula, which also includes the Crab Pulsar, is the brightest hard X-ray source in the sky, and is very often used to calibrate hard X-ray detectors.
Astrosat, which is India's first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory, was succesfully launched into the orbit on September 28, 2015, with its five scientific instruments, aimed at studying celestial bodies.
However, the mission's main goal is to study the massive black hole believed to be existing at the core of the Milky Way.
During the first orbit, there was a difficulty in detecting the Crab Nebula as the satellite happened to pass through the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) region when Crab was in the field of view, explained ISRO.
SAA avoidance zone was deliberately kept wide to protect the instruments, and detectors were switched OFF in this interval during the initial days of Astrosat operation.
When all the data were systematically analysed and data were selected based on the availability of Crab in the detector field of view, one could see the Crab emerging from Earth's shadow, it added.
According to ISRO, the Nebula, detected on october 9, was observed parallely by both Mission Operation Centreat Peenya, Bengaluru and Payload Operation Centre, IUCAA, Pune.
This is only the beginning, with many more events to unfold”, ISRO said.
The life span of the Astrosat mission is of five years.