Indian astronomers discover one of the farthest star galaxies in the universe

'This discovery is a very important clue to how the dark ages of the Universe ended and there was light in the Universe'.

Indian Astronomers have discovered one of the farthest star galaxies in the universe, DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh said on Tuesday.

The galaxy called AUDFs01 was discovered by a team of Astronomers led by Dr Kanak Saha from the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) Pune, the Department of Space said in a release on Tuesday.

Announcing the historic achievement in space mission, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space lauded the Indian scientists and said, “It is a matter of pride that India’s first Multi-Wavelength Space Observatory AstroSat has detected extreme-UV light from a galaxy located 9.3 billion light-years away from the Earth”.

“This discovery is a very important clue to how the dark ages of the Universe ended and there was light in the Universe. We need to know when this started, but it has been very hard to find the earliest sources of light,” director of Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) Dr Somak Ray Chaudhury said.

The discovery is reported in the leading international journal “Nature Astronomy”. India's AstroSat/UVIT was able to achieve this unique feat because the background noise in the UVIT detector is much less than one on the Hubble Space Telescope of US based NASA, the minister said.

India’s first Space Observatory AstroSat, which has made this discovery, was launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on September 28, 2015. It was developed by a team led by Shyam Tandon, Ex Emeritus Professor, IUCAA with the full support of ISRO, the Department of Space added.

First Published:Sept. 1, 2020, 7:04 p.m.