Three space-based observatories ASTROSAT, Chandra, Hubble Space Telescope and a ground-based observatory HARPS have simultaneously detected a massive coronal explosion on the nearest planet-hosting star ‘Proxima Centauri’.
The explosion was detected as part of joint multi-wavelength simultaneous observational campaign undertaken by these three space-based observatories.
What is Coronal explosion?
Coronal explosion is an unusually large release of plasma and magnetic field from the solar corona.
They often follow solar flares and are normally present during a solar prominence eruption.
The plasma is released into the solar wind, and can be observed in coronagraph imagery.
About the Proxima Centauri:
It is group of stars which hosts an Earth-like habitable planet — Proxima Centaur b — orbiting within (Proxima Centauri) its habitable zone.
It was discovered in 2016.
It is a cool dwarf star located around 4.25 light years away from the Earth.
Because of Proxima Centauri’s proximity to Earth, its angular diameter can be measured directly. It is about one-seventh the diameter of the Sun.
ASTROSAT is India’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory.
It was launched on a PSLV-XL on 28 September 2015.
It was built by a consortium of institutes across India led by ISRO Satellite Centre, TIFR Mumbai, IIA Bengaluru, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Space Applications Centre in collaboration with University of Leicester (UK) and the Canadian Space Agency.
One of the unique features of ASTROSAT mission is that enables the simultaneous multi-wavelength observations of various astronomical objects with a single satellite.
The scientific objectives of ASTROSAT mission are:
To understand high energy processes in binary star systems containing neutron stars and black holes
Estimate magnetic fields of neutron stars
Study star birth regions and high energy processes in star systems lying beyond our galaxy
Detect new briefly bright X-ray sources in the sky
Perform a limited deep field survey of the Universe in the Ultraviolet region
The Chandra programme is managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
The flight operations and the Chandra Science are controlled by the Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
About the Hubble Space Telescope:
The Hubble Space Telescope is a space telescope that was launched into low Earth orbit in 1990 and remains in operation.
It is one of the largest and most versatile space telescopes, and is well known as both a vital research tool and a public relations boon for astronomy.
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