SPACE VARIABLE OBJECTS MONITOR (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     24th June 2024        
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Context: Recently, a Long March 2-C rocket launched the French-Chinese satellite Space Variable Objects Monitor (SVOM) from southwestern China, marking a successful mission.

Space Variable Objects Monitor (SVOM)

  • About: It is a collaborative French-Chinese satellite designed to detect and study gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), which are powerful cosmic events releasing intense bursts of gamma rays.
  • Launched: From the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China via a Long March-2C rocket, SVOM entered orbit over 600 kilometers above Earth.
  • Instrumentation: Weighing 930 kilograms, SVOM carries four instruments—two French and two Chinese—that are crucial for detecting and analyzing GRBs.
  • Orbit and Longevity: Positioned in a strategic orbit, SVOM is expected to operate for at least five years, with potential operational capability extending up to 20 years, offering prolonged observational opportunities.

Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs)

  • Origins: GRBs typically originate from the explosion of massive stars or the collision of compact stellar remnants, releasing energy equivalent to billions of suns.
  • Cosmic Time Capsules: Observing GRBs provides a unique opportunity to study distant cosmic events, offering insights into the early universe due to the time it takes for their light to reach Earth.
  • Scientific Significance: The gamma rays from GRBs carry valuable information about the environments they traverse, such as gas clouds and galaxies, aiding in understanding cosmic evolution.