In DepthAstronomy

India to put observatory in orbit

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  18 Sep 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6254, pp. 1271-1272
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6254.1271

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

On 28 September, India plans to launch a major space-based observatory that will set a milestone for a developing country—and also mark a first for space science. The $45-million Astrosat mission will put India in an elite group of science powers—the United States, the European Union, and Japan—doing astronomy from orbit. The spacecraft also has a unique design. Instead of focusing on a single region of the spectrum, it carries a suite of five instruments, including two telescopes, which will observe cosmic objects simultaneously in several wavebands: visible, ultraviolet, and soft and hard x-rays. Astrosat's multiwavelength capability could pay special dividends with sources that flare up rapidly, such as x-ray binaries.

  • * in New Delhi; Pallava Bagla is a science journalist in New Delhi.