ASTROSAT (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     26th December 2023        

Context: Recently, AstroSat detected bright sub-second X-ray bursts from a new and unique neutron star with an ultrahigh magnetic field (magnetar), providing valuable insights into the intriguing extreme astrophysical conditions of magnetars.

oMagnetars are neutron stars having an ultrahigh magnetic field that are much stronger than the terrestrial magnetic field.


  • About: India's premier multi-wavelength space observatory, AstroSat, focuses on studying celestial sources in X-ray, optical, and UV spectral bands simultaneously.
  • Launched by: The Indian PSLV from Sriharikota on September 28, 2015
  • Orbit: 650 km orbit inclined at an angle of 6 degrees to the equator.
  • Mission Operations: The spacecraft is managed by the Mission Operations Complex (MOX) at ISRO's Telemetry, Tracking, and Command Network (ISTRAC) in Bengaluru throughout its mission life.
  • Duration: Around 5 years, ensuring sustained scientific observations.
  • Scientific Payloads: Equipped with five scientific payloads, AstroSat enables imaging and studying the temporal and spectral properties of cosmic sources in various wavelengths on a unified platform.
  • Objectives

oInvestigate high-energy processes in binary star systems containing neutron stars and black holes.

oEstimate magnetic fields of neutron stars.

oExplore star birth regions and high-energy processes in star systems beyond our galaxy.

oDetect new, briefly bright X-ray sources in the sky.

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