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Access to space observatory from Oct: ISRO


Bengaluru : Access will be open for guest observers from the Indian science community to Astrosat, the country’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory from October, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said.

Observing time will be awarded on the basis of proposals reviewed by peers (or senior academics), it said.

ISRO in collaboration with the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune, has set up an Astrosat Support Cell (ASC) to facilitate the proposal making process and the use of AstroSat data.

It said the cell will operate out of IUCAA and will provide resource material, tools, training and help to guest observers. A Memorandum of Understanding between ISRO and IUCAA for the operation of the Astrosat Support Cell was signed on May 5.

ISRO on September 28 last year had successfully launched Astrosat, aimed at undertaking a detailed understanding of the universe, along with six foreign satellites, on board PSLV-C30 from the spaceport at Sriharikota in Andra Pradesh.

A unique feature of Astrosat mission is that it enables the simultaneous multi-wavelength observations of various astronomical objects with a single satellite.

ISRO said Astrosat has completed its performance verification and started science operations since April 15. A phase of guaranteed time observations for the instrument teams is currently ongoing.

The space agency said activities of the ASC will include providing long-term support and maintenance of the Astrosat Proposal Processing System, running a help desk for proposal and data related queries, and organising workshops to familiarise users with proposal preparation and data analysis techniques.

It is planned to hold two long-duration workshops every year at IUCAA and several short duration workshops at different parts of the country, it added.

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