India sends first satellite to study black holes

India has successfully launched its first satellite to study black holes, becoming the second country after the United States to use a space observatory to study these mysterious objects. The XPoSat X-ray polarimeter satellite was launched on January 1, 2024 by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) as part of India’s broader space program.

The goal of the XPoSat mission is to use the satellite’s onboard X-ray polarimeter and other instruments to study black holes and other astronomical objects such as neutron stars and active galactic nuclei. XPoSat detects X-rays and other forms of radiation emitted when black holes interact with their surroundings. A black hole is a large mass compressed into a very small area, formed from the remains of a large star that can collapse into a supernova (a massive explosion that occurs at the end of a star’s life). Their attraction is so strong that no light can pass through them, making them difficult to detect. However, its unique properties, such as X-rays and gravitational waves, make it a useful tool for studying physics and the fundamental laws of gravity.

XPoSat will be a continuation of the Astrosat mission launched by ISRO in 2015, which was India’s first ultraviolet space exploration satellite. XPoSat will feature improved performance and greater functionality, allowing it to conduct more detailed and accurate research.
The launch of XPoSat is also part of the Indian government’s larger program to develop the space industry and encourage research and development. Let us recall that India already has its own space program, including launch vehicles, satellites and manned space missions. In addition, India actively cooperates with other countries and organizations in the field of space research, such as NASA, ESA and ISRO.

Overall, the launch of XPoSat is a very important event for India and the global space industry. It will allow scientists to better understand the laws of physics and gravity, as well as open up new opportunities for the practical application of space technologies.