3-in-1 imaging telescope simultaneously observing in the visible, the near-ultraviolet (NUV), and the far-ultraviolet (FUV) spectrum. he Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope, or the UVIT, is a remarkable It is one of the five payloads onboard India’s first multi-wavelength astronomical observatory AstroSat and completed five years of operation in the sky.
More About UVIT
- The UVIT comprises two separate telescopes. One of them works in the visible (320-550 nm) and the NUV (200-300 nm). The second works only in the FUV (130-180 nm).
- It has carried out 1166 observations of 800 unique celestial sources proposed by scientists both from India and abroad.
- It has explored
. stars/ star clusters
. mapping of the large and small satellite galaxies nearby to our own Milky Way galaxy called the Magellanic Clouds
. an energetic phenomenon in the universe such as the ultra-violet counterparts to gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, active galactic nuclei, and so on.
- Its superior spatial resolution capability has enabled astronomers to probe star formation in galaxies as well as resolve the cores of star clusters (3 times better than the last NASA mission, GALEX).
- Observations from UVIT have recently led to the discovery of a galaxy located at a distance of about 10 billion light-years from Earth and emitting extreme ultraviolet radiation that can ionize the intergalactic medium.
- The UVIT project was led by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, in collaboration with the Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, several centers of ISRO and the Canadian Space Agency.
- Just as optical telescopes have filters to image the sky in the red or blue or green range of wavelengths, so also the UVIT has filters to image the NUV and FUV (and the visible) in different narrow wavelength bands. These filters are mounted on wheels which can be spun to bring whichever filter the astronomer wants into the light path.