ISRO Missions and Discoveries

SARAS 3 Telescope gives clues to first stars, galaxies of universe

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Saras 3

Mains level : Not Much

saras

India’s SARAS radio telescope has helped scientists determine the properties of the earliest radio luminous galaxies formed 200 million years after the Big Bang, a period known as the Cosmic Dawn.

SARAS 3 Telescope

  • SARAS stands for Shaped Antenna measurement of the background Radio Spectrum 3 (SARAS) telescope.
  • It is an indigenously designed and built at Raman Research Institute and was deployed over Dandiganahalli Lake and Sharavati backwaters, located in Northern Karnataka, in early 2020.

What have the researchers found?

  • Researchers have been able to determine properties of radio luminous galaxies formed just 200 million years post the Big Bang, a period known as the Cosmic Dawn.
  • These are the masses of the first generation of galaxies that are bright in radio wavelengths.
  • This helps provide an insight into the properties of the earliest radio loud galaxies that are usually powered by supermassive black holes.

What is Cosmic Dawn?

  • The ignition of the first stars marks the end of the Dark Ages and the beginning of our “Cosmic Dawn,” some 100 million years after the Big Bang.
  • For the first time, our universe began shining with a light other than the afterglow of the Big Bang.
  • SARAS 3 had improved the understanding of astrophysics of Cosmic Dawn by telling astronomers that less than 3% of the gaseous matter within early galaxies was converted into stars.
  • It found that the earliest galaxies that were bright in radio emission were also strong in X-rays, which heated the cosmic gas in and around the early galaxies.

 

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