ISRO’s XPoSat Mission: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe with X-ray Polarimetry

Stargazer Daily
4 Min Read
credit: ISRO

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is about to release the X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat) on January 1, noting a major action in recognizing the enigmas of the universe. XPoSat is India’s first mission committed to studying polarimeters and its objective is to explore the complicated habits of bright X-ray sources located in severe settings.

XPoSat is set to go for 9:10 AM, riding the Polar Satellite Launch Lorry (PSLV) into a reduced earth orbit. With two state-of-the-art hauls onboard, this goal provides the capacity for revolutionary discoveries that will improve our understanding of the tremendous celestial world.

The primary cargo, POLIX (a device for measuring polarimetry in X-rays), has been produced to assess polarisation features like the level and instructions of polarisation, particularly in the tool X-ray power range. Along with this, the secondary freight, XSPECT (dedicated to X-ray spectroscopy and timing), will supply crucial data associated with spectroscopy.

The significance of this mission is highlighted by its ability to yield groundbreaking understandings of the mysterious methods which celestial objects, including great voids, neutron celebrities, energetic galactic centers, and pulsar wind galaxy, emit power. Regardless of the riches of information collected by previous space-based observations, researchers have been puzzled by these phenomena, which are rooted in complex physical procedures.

The XPoSat mission in India plans to record the difficult-to-capture degree and angle of polarisation. It plans to present 2 important components to the task of decoding these cosmic secrets. According to ISRO, the polarimetric observations and spectroscopic measurements are prepared for to give clarity and distinction among different theoretical models of astronomical emission processes. This will certainly be the primary emphasis of research for the Indian science area via XPoSat.

XPOSAT

XPoSat (X-ray Polarimeter Satellite) is the first dedicated scientific satellite from ISRO to
carry out research in space-based polarisation measurements of X-ray emission from celestial
sources. The Satellite configuration is modified from the IMS-2 bus platform. The Configuration
of the mainframe systems are derived based on the heritage of IRS satellites. It carries two
payloads namely POLIX (Polarimeter Instrument in X-rays) and XSPECT (X-ray Spectroscopy
and Timing). POLIX is realized by Raman Research Institute and XSPECT is by Space
Astronomy Group of URSC.

Objectives of this mission are

  • To measure polarisation of X-rays in the energy band 8-30keV emanating from about 50 potential cosmic sources through Thomson Scattering by POLIX payload.
  • To carry out long term spectral and temporal studies of cosmic X-ray sources in the energy band 0.8-15keV by XSPECT payload.
  • To carry out polarisation and spectroscopic measurements of X-ray emissions from cosmic sources by POLIX and XSPECTpayloads respectively in the common energy band.

Scientific Goals

  • To study the distribution of magnetic field, geometric anisotropies, alignment w.r.t line of sight, nature of accelerator in galactic cosmic X-Ray sources by measuring degree of polarization and its angle.
  • Structure and geometry of magnetic field of neutron stars, mechanism of X-Ray beaming and its relation with luminosity and mass of accretion rate of powered pulsars.
  • Detailed understanding of galactic black hole binary sources.
  • To study and confirm about production of X-Rays is either from polar cap of neutron star or outer cap of pulsar magnetosphere.
  • To distinguish the synchrotron mechanism as dominant over thermal emission in Supernova remnants.

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