Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is gearing up to commence the New Year with the anticipated launch of its pioneering polarimetry mission, XPoSat
- This mission marks a significant milestone as the country’s third space-based observatory, joining the ranks of the recently launched solar mission, Aditya-L1, and the 2015-launched AstroSat.
- The primary objective of the XPoSat mission is to study the “polarisation” of astronomical X-rays.
- This unique approach provides valuable insights into the processes that lead to X-ray emissions from celestial bodies. Polarimetry, as a method of studying astronomical phenomena, complements traditional imaging methods and involves analyzing fluctuations in light and energy radiated by celestial bodies.
- XPoSat carries two payloads in its low Earth orbit:
- POLIX (Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays): Designed to make observations in the 8-30 keV range, POLIX is expected to observe around 40 bright astronomical sources of various categories during its planned five-year mission lifespan.
- XSPECT (X-ray Spectroscopy and Timing): Utilizing spectroscopy, XSPECT studies the electromagnetic spectrum generated by different matter, further enhancing the mission’s observational capabilities.