Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT)

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Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) Blog Image


PUNE-BASED astronomers recently discovered two new Millisecond Pulsars (MSP) — rotating neutron stars — using an indigenously developed novel technique, which was applied during an ongoing sky survey conducted by the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT).

About Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT):

  • GMRT is a low-frequency radio telescope that helps investigate various radio astrophysical problems ranging from nearby solar systems to the edge of the observable universe.
  • Location: It is located at Khodad, 80 km north of Pune, Maharashtra.
  • It is a project of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), operating under the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR).
  • The telescope is operated by the National Centre of Radio Astrophysics (NCRA). NCRA is a part of the TIFR, Mumbai.
  • It consists of 30 fully- steerable dish-type antennas of 45-meter diameter each, spread over a 25-km region.
  • GMRT is presently the world’s largest radio telescope operating at meter wavelength.
  • It was recently upgraded with new receivers, after which it is also known as the upgraded Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (uGMRT).

What are Pulsars?

  • Pulsars are rotating neutron stars observed to have pulses of radiation at very regular intervals that typically range from milliseconds to seconds.
  • Pulsars have very strong magnetic fields which funnel jets of particles out along the two magnetic poles.
  • These accelerated particles produce very powerful beams of light. 
  • Often, the magnetic field is not aligned with the spin axis, so those beams of particles and light are swept around as the star rotates
  • Pulsars are among the few celestial objects that emit circular polarised light.


Q1) What is a Neutron Star?

Neutron stars are formed when a massive star runs out of fuel and collapses. The very central region of the star – the core – collapses, crushing together every proton and electron into a neutron. If the core of the collapsing star is between about 1 and 3 solar masses, these newly-created neutrons can stop the collapse, leaving behind a neutron star.

Source: Pune astronomers detect two new millisecond pulsars