• A. R. RAO

      Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

    • Low frequency quasi-periodic oscillations in the hard x-ray emission from cygnus x-1

      B. Paul P. C. Agrawal A. R. Rao

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      The observations of the black hole binary Cygnus X-l were made in the energy band of 20–100keV with a balloon-borne Xenon-filled multiwire proportional counter telescope on 5th April 1992. Timing analysis of the data revealed the presence of Quasi-Periodic Oscillations (QPO) in the hard X-ray emission from the source. The QPO feature in the power density spectrum is broad with a peak at a frequency of 0.06 Hz. This result is compared with similar reports of QPOs in Cyg X-l in soft and hard X-rays. Short time scale random intensity variations in the X-ray light curve are described with a shot noise model.

    • X-ray observation of XTE J2012+381 during the 1998 outburst

      S. Naik P. C. Agrawal B. Paul A. R. Rao S. Seetha K. Kasturirangan

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      The outburst of X-ray transient source XTE J2012+381 was detected by the RXTE All-Sky Monitor on 1998 May 24th. Following the outburst, X-ray observations of the source were made in the 2–18 keV energy band with the Pointed Proportional Counters of the Indian X-ray Astronomy Experiment (IXAE) on-board the Indian satellite IRS-P3 during 1998 June 2nd–10th. The X-ray flux of the source in the main outburst decreased exponentially during the period of observation. No large amplitude short-term variability in the intensity is detected from the source. The power density spectrum obtained from the timing analysis of the data shows no indication of any quasi-periodic oscillations in 0.002–0.5 Hz band. The hardness ratio i.e. the ratio of counts in 6–18 keV to 2–6 keV band, indicates that the X-ray spectrum is soft with spectral index >2. From the similarities of the X-ray properties with those of other black hole transients, we conclude that the X-ray transient XTE J2012+381 is likely to be a black hole.

    • X-ray spectroscopy of Cygnus X-3

      M. Choudhury A. R. Rao

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      We have analysed the X-ray spectra of the highly variable X-ray source Cygnus X-3 over a wide energy range from 5 keV to 150 keV using data selected from the RXTE archives. Separate analysis of the low and hard states show the presence of a hard powerlaw tail in both the states. Here we present the result of the wide band spectral study of the source.

    • Fast transition between high-soft and low-soft states in GRS 1915 + 105: Evidence for a critically viscous accretion flow

      S. Naik A. R. Rao Sandip K. Chakrabarti

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      We present the results of a detailed analysis of RXTE observations of classω (Klein-Woltet al. 2002) which show an unusual state transition between high-soft and low-soft states in the Galactic microquasar GRS 1915 + 105. Out of about 600 pointed RXTE observations, the source was found to exhibit such state transition only on 16 occasions. An examination of the RXTE/ASM data in conjunction with the pointed observations reveals that these events appeared as a series of quasi-regular dips in two stretches of long duration (about 20 days during each occasion) when hard X-ray and radio flux were very low. The X-ray light curve and colour-colour diagram of the source during these observations are found to be different from any reported so far. The duration of these dips is found to be of the order of a few tens of seconds with a repetition time of a few hundred seconds. The transition between these dips and non-dips which differ in intensity by a factor of ∼ 3.5, is observed to be very fast (∼ a few seconds). It is observed that the low-frequency narrow QPOs are absent in the power density spectrum (PDS) of the dip and non-dip regions of classω and the PDS is a power law in the 0.1–10 Hz frequency range. There is a remarkable similarity in the spectral and timing properties of the source during the dip and non-dip regions in this set of observations. These properties of the source are distinctly different from those seen in the observations of other classes. This indicates that the basic accretion disk structure during both dip and non-dip regions of classω is similar, but differ only in intensity. To explain these observations, we invoke a model in which the viscosity is very close to critical viscosity and the shock wave is weak or absent.

    • The Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager on AstroSat

      V. Bhalerao D. Bhattacharya A. Vibhute P. Pawar A. R. Rao M. K. Hingar Rakesh Khanna A. P. K. Kutty J. P. Malkar M. H. Patil Y. K. Arora S. Sinha P. Priya Essy Samuel S. Sreekumar P. Vinod N. P. S. Mithun S. V. Vadawale N. Vagshette K. H. Navalgund K. S. Sarma R. Pandiyan S. Seetha K. Subbarao

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      The Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI) is a high energy, wide-field imaging instrument on AstroSat. CZTI’s namesake Cadmium Zinc Telluride detectors cover an energy range from 20 keV to >200 keV, with 11% energy resolution at 60 keV. The coded aperture mask attains an angular resolution of 17′ over a 4.6× 4.6 (FWHM) field-of-view. CZTI functions as an open detector above 100 keV, continuously sensitive to GRBs and other transients in about 30% of the sky. The pixellated detectors are sensitive to polarization above ∼100 keV, with exciting possibilities for polarization studies of transients and bright persistent sources. In this paper, we provide details of the complete CZTI instrument, detectors, coded aperture mask, mechanical and electronic configuration, as well as data and products.

    • Charged Particle Monitor on the AstroSat Mission

      A. R. Rao M. H. Patil Yash Bhargava Rakesh Khanna M. K. Hingar A. P. K. Kutty J. P. Malkar Rupal Basak S. Sreekumar Essy Samuel P. Priya P. Vinod D. Bhattacharya V. Bhalerao S. V. Vadawale N. P. S. Mithun R. Pandiyan K. Subbarao S. Seetha K. Suryanarayana Sarma

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      Charged Particle Monitor (CPM) on-board the Astrosat satellite is an instrument designed to detect the flux of charged particles at the satellite location. A Cesium Iodide Thallium (CsI(Tl)) crystal is used with a Kapton window to detect protons with energies greater than 1 MeV. The ground calibration of CPM was done using gamma-rays from radioactive sources and protons from particle accelerators. Based on the ground calibration results, energy deposition above 1 MeV are accepted and particle counts are recorded. It is found that CPM counts are steady and the signal for the onset and exit of South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) region are generated in a very reliable and stable manner.

    • High energy transients: The millisecond domain

      A. R. RAO

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      The search for high energy transients in the millisecond domain has come to the focus in recent times due to the detection of gravitational wave events and the identification of fast radio bursts as cosmological sources. Here we highlight the sensitivity limitations in the currently operating hard X-ray telescopes and give some details of the search for millisecond events in the AstroSat CZT Imager data.

    • A generalized event selection algorithm for AstroSat CZT imager data

      A. RATHEESH A. R. RAO N. P. S. MITHUN S. V. VADAWALE A. VIBHUTE D. BHATTACHARYA P. PRADEEP S. SREEKUMAR V. BHALERAO

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      The Cadmium–Zinc–Telluride (CZT) Imager on board AstroSat is a hard X-ray imaging spectrometer operating in the energy range of 20–100 keV. It also acts as an open hard X-ray monitor above 100 keV capable of detecting transient events like the Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs). Additionally, the instrument has thesensitivity to measure hard X-ray polarization in the energy range of 100–400 keV for bright on-axis sources like Crab and Cygnus X-1 and bright GRBs. As hard X-ray instruments like CZTI are sensitive to cosmic rays in addition to X-rays, it is required to identify and remove particle induced or other noise events and select events for scientific analysis of the data. The present CZTI data analysis pipeline includes algorithms for such event selection, but they have certain limitations. They were primarily designed for the analysis of data from persistent X-ray sources where the source flux is much less than the background and thus are not best suited for sources like GRBs. Here, we re-examine the characteristics of noise events in CZTI and present a generalized event selectionmethod that caters to the analysis of data for all types of sources. The efficacy of the new method is reviewed by examining the Poissonian behavior of the selected events and the signal to noise ratio for GRBs.

    • Using collimated CZTI as all-sky X-ray detector based on Earth occultation technique

      AKSHAT SINGHAL RAHUL SRINIVASAN VARUN BHALERAO DIPANKAR BHATTACHARYA A. R. RAO SANTOSH VADAWALE

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      All-sky monitors can measure the fluxes of astrophysical sources by measuring the changes in observed counts as the source is occulted by the Earth. Such measurements have typically been carried out by all-sky monitors like CGRO-BATSE and Fermi-GBM. We demonstrate for the first time the application of this technique to measure fluxes of sources using a collimated instrument: the Cadmium Zinc Telluridedetector on AstroSat. Reliable flux measurements are obtained for the Crab nebula and pulsar, and for Cyg X–1 by carefully selecting the best occultation data sets. We demonstrate that CZTI can obtain such measurements for hard sources with intensities $\gtrsim$1 Crab.

    • AstroSat-CZTI as a hard X-ray pulsar monitor

      K. G. ANUSREE D. BHATTACHARYA A. R. RAO S. VADAWALE V. BHALERAO A. VIBHUTE

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      The Cadmium–Zinc–Telluride Imager (CZTI) is an imaging instrument onboard AstroSat. This instrument operates as a nearly open all-sky detector above 60 keV, making possible long integrations irrespective of the spacecraft pointing. We present a technique based on the AstroSat-CZTI data to explore the hard $\gamma$-ray characteristics of the c-ray pulsar population. We report highly significant ($\sim$30$\sigma$) detection of hard X-ray (60–380 keV) pulse profile of the Crab pulsar using $\sim$5000 ks of CZTI observations within 5 to 70$^{\circ}$ of Crab position in the sky, using a custom algorithm developed by us. Using Crab as our test source, we estimate the off-axis sensitivity of the instrument and establish AstroSat-CZTI as a prospective tool in investigating hard X-ray characteristics of c-ray pulsars as faint as 10 mCrab.

    • Exploring sub-MeV sensitivity of AstroSat–CZTI for ON-axis bright sources

      ABHAY KUMAR TANMOY CHATTOPADHYAY SANTOSH V. VADAWALE A. R. RAO SOUMYA GUPTA N. P. S. MITHUN VARUN BHALERAO DIPANKAR BHATTACHARYA

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      The Cadmium–Zinc–Telluride Imager (CZTI) onboard AstroSat is designed for hard X-ray imaging and spectroscopy in the energy range of 20–100 keV. The CZT detectors are of 5-mm thickness and hence have good efficiency for Compton interactions beyond 100 keV. The polarisation analysis using CZTIrelies on such Compton events and have been verified experimentally. The same Compton events can also be used to extend the spectroscopy up to 380 keV. Further, it has been observed that about 20% pixels of the CZTI detector plane have low gain, and they are excluded from the primary spectroscopy. If these pixels are included, then the spectroscopic capability of CZTI can be extended up to 500 keV and further up to 700 keV with a better gain calibration in the future. Here we explore the possibility of using the Compton events as well as the low gain pixels to extend the spectroscopic energy range of CZTI for ON-axis bright X-ray sources. We demonstrate this technique using Crab observations and explore its sensitivity.

    • Characterisation of cosmic ray induced noise events in AstroSat-CZT imager

      D. PAUL A. R. RAO A. RATHEESH N. P. S. MITHUN S. V. VADAWALE A. VIBHUTE D. BHATTACHARYA P. PRADEEP S. SREEKUMAR

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      The Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) Imager onboard AstroSat consists of pixelated CZT detectors, which are sensitive to hard X-rays above 20 keV. The individual pixels are triggered by ionising events occurring in them, and the detectors operate in a self-triggered mode, recording each event separatelywith information about its time of incidence, detector co-ordinates, and channel that scales with the amount of ionisation. The detectors are sensitive not only to photons from astrophysical sources of interest, but also prone to a number of other events like background X-rays, cosmic rays, and noise in detectors or theelectronics. In this work, a detailed analysis of the effect of cosmic rays on the detectors is made and it is found that cosmic rays can trigger multiple events which are closely packed in time (called ‘bunches’). Higher energy cosmic rays, however, can also generate delayed emissions, a signature previously seen in the PICsIT detector on-board INTEGRAL. An algorithm to automatically detect them based on their spatial clustering properties is presented. Residual noise events are examined using examples of Gamma Ray Bursts as target sources.

    • The search for fast transients with CZTI

      Y. SHARMA A. MARATHE V. BHALERAO V. SHENOY G. WARATKAR D. NADELLA P. PAGE P. HEBBAR A. VIBHUTE D. BHATTACHARYA A. R. RAO S. VADAWALE

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      The Cadmium–Zinc–Telluride Imager on AstroSat has proven to be a very effective All-Sky monitor in the hard X-ray regime, detecting over three hundred GRBs and putting highly competitive upper limits on X-ray emissions from gravitational wave sources and fast radio bursts. We present the algorithmsused for searching for such transient sources in CZTI data, and for calculating upper limits in case of nondetections. We introduce CIFT: the CZTI Interface for Fast Transients, a framework used to streamline these processes. We present details of 87 new GRBs detected by this framework that were previously not detected in CZTI.

    • Imaging calibration of AstroSat Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI)

      AJAY VIBHUTE DIPANKAR BHATTACHARYA N. P. S. MITHUN V. BHALERAO A. R. RAO S. V. VADAWALE

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      AstroSat is India’s first space-based astronomical observatory, launched on September 28, 2015. One of the payloads aboard AstroSat is the Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI), operating at hard X-rays. CZTI employs a two-dimensional coded aperture mask for the purpose of imaging. In this paper, we discuss various image reconstruction algorithms adopted for the test and calibration of the imaging capability of CZTI and present results from CZTI on-ground as well as in-orbit image calibration.

    • Sub-MeV spectroscopy with AstroSat-CZT imager for gamma ray bursts

      TANMOY CHATTOPADHYAY SOUMYA GUPTA VIDUSHI SHARMA SHABNAM IYYANI AJAY RATHEESH N. P. S. MITHUN E. AARTHY SOURAV PALIT ABHAY KUMAR SANTOSH V. VADAWALE A. R. RAO VARUN BHALERAO DIPANKAR BHATTACHARYA

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      Cadmium–Zinc–Telluride Imager (CZTI) onboard AstroSat has been a prolific Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) monitor. While the 2-pixel Compton scattered events (100–300 keV) are used to extract sensitive spectroscopic information, the inclusion of the low-gain pixels ($\sim$20% of the detector plane) aftercareful calibration extends the energy range of Compton energy spectra to 600 keV. The new feature also allows single-pixel spectroscopy of the GRBs to the sub-MeV range which is otherwise limited to 150 keV. We also introduced a new noise rejection algorithm in the analysis (‘Compton noise’). These new additionsnot only enhances the spectroscopic sensitivity of CZTI, but the sub-MeV spectroscopy will also allow proper characterization of the GRBs not detected by Fermi. This article describes the methodology of single, Compton event and veto spectroscopy in 100–900 keV combined for the GRBs detected in the first year of operation. CZTI in last five years has detected $\sim$20 bright GRBs. The new methodologies, when applied on the spectral analysis for this large sample of GRBs, has the potential to improve the results significantly and help in better understanding the prompt emission mechanism.

    • The AstroSat mass model: Imaging and flux studies of off-axis sources with CZTI

      SUJAY MATE TANMOY CHATTOPADHYAY VARUN BHALERAO E. AARTHY ARVIND BALASUBRAMANIAN DIPANKAR BHATTACHARYA SOUMYA GUPTA KRISHNAN KUTTY N. P. S. MITHUN SOURAV PALIT A. R. RAO DIVITA SARAOGI SANTOSH VADAWALE AJAY VIBHUTE

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      The Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI) on AstroSat is a hard X-ray coded-aperture mask instrument with a primary field-of-view of $4.6^{\circ} \times 4.6^{\circ}$ (FWHM).The instrument collimators become increasinglytransparent at energies above $\sim$100 keV, making CZTI sensitive to radiation from the entire sky. While this has enabled CZTI to detect a large number of off-axis transient sources, calculating the source flux or spectrum requires knowledge of the direction and energy dependent attenuation of the radiation incident upon the detector. Here, we present a GEANT4-based mass model of CZTI and AstroSat that can be used to simulate the satellite response to the incident radiation, and to calculate an effective ‘‘response file’’ for converting the source counts into fluxes and spectra. We provide details of the geometry and interaction physics, and validate the model by comparing the simulations of imaging and flux studies with observations. Spectroscopic validation of the massmodel is discussed in a companion paper, Chattopadhyay et al. (J. Astrophys. Astr., vol. 42 (2021) https://doi.org/10.1007/s12036-021-09718-2).

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    • Continuous Article Publication

      Posted on January 27, 2016

      Since January 2016, the Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy has moved to Continuous Article Publishing (CAP) mode. This means that each accepted article is being published immediately online with DOI and article citation ID with starting page number 1. Articles are also visible in Web of Science immediately. All these have helped shorten the publication time and have improved the visibility of the articles.

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      Posted on July 25, 2019

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