Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT)

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    In News

    • Recently, astronomers have used data from the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in Pune to detect a radio signal originating from atomic hydrogen in an extremely distant galaxy.
      • Atomic hydrogen is the basic fuel required for star formation in a galaxy.

    About

    • This is the first confirmed detection of strong lensing of 21 cm emission from a galaxy.
    • The astronomical distance over which such a signal has been picked up is the largest so far. 
    • The research was funded by McGill University in Canada and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

    Image Courtesy: TH

    Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) 

    • About:
      • It is an array of thirty fully steerable parabolic radio telescopes of 45 meter diameter.
    • Concept:
      • It functions at the meter wavelength part of the radio spectrum because man-made radio interference is considerably lower in this part of the spectrum in India and there are many outstanding astrophysics problems which are best studied at meter wavelengths.
    • Indigenous Project:
      • Its design is based on the `SMART’ concept – for Stretch Mesh Attached to Rope Trusses.
    • Built and operated by: 
      • National Centre for Radio Astrophysics – Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, (NCRA-TIFR), Pune

    Gravitational Lensing

    • It is a phenomenon in which the light emitted by the source is bent due to the presence of another massive body, such as an early type elliptical galaxy, between the target galaxy and the observer, effectively resulting in the magnification of the signal. 
    • It probes the distribution of matter in galaxies and clusters of galaxies, and enables observations of the distant universe.
    • It allows researchers to study the details of early galaxies too far away to be seen with current technology and telescopes.

    Source: TH