Talking to the Indian Express Dr Saha said that the galaxy was observed way back in October 2016 by the team but the team analysed the data carefully to ascertain that the light actually emanated from the galaxy.
A global team of scientists led by the scientists from the Inter University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) has discovered one of the earliest galaxies which is in extreme ultraviolet light. More importantly, the galaxy was discovered by an Indian satellite called AstroSat which is the country’s first multiwavelength satellite, according to an Indian Express report. The AstroSat satellite also has five unique X-ray and ultraviolet telescope working in close coordination to detect the extreme UV light emanating from a galaxy called AUDFs01. The galaxy has been pegged to be located at a distance of 9.3 billion light years from our planet.
The team which consisted of astronauts from different countries was led by Dr Kanak Saha who is an associate professor of astronomy at IUCAA. Apart from India, the scientists and astronomers who were part of the project belonged to Switzerland, France, USA, Netherlands and Japan. Talking to the Indian Express Dr Saha said that the galaxy was observed way back in October 2016 by the team but the team analysed the data carefully to ascertain that the light actually emanated from the galaxy. Telling about the dark ages of the universe when there was no light, Dr Saha said that the breakthrough could provide more insights about how the dark ages of the Universe ended.
Previously, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (HST) could also not detect the emanation of UV lights from the galaxy as the source is very faint. Dr Saha said that the UV light could be spotted by the AstroSat because the background noise in the UVIT detector was far less than that in NASA’s HST. According to the report which quoted the statement issued by the IUCAA, scientists have been looking to find the earliest sources which re-ionised the early universe. However, observing those sources is a near impossible task as the extreme-UV photons which emanate from such sources don’t reach the telescope and are absorbed by the gas and matter in the host galaxy. Only very few UV photons manage to cross the barriers and reach earth and how they manage to do it remains a mystery.