• D. Bhattacharya

      Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

    • On the supernova remnants produced by pulsars

      G. Srinivasan D. Bhattacharya K. S. Dwarakanath

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      We conclude that pulsar-driven supernova remnants (SNRs) are extremely rare objects. Indeed an analysis of the known sample of plerions suggests a very low birthrate ∼ 1 in 240 years. Long-lived and bright plerions like the Crab nebula are likely to be produced only when the pulsar has an initial period ∼ 10–20 milliseconds and a field ∼ 1012 G. Such pulsars inside rapidly expanding shell remnants should also produce detectable plerions. The extreme rarity of SNRs with such hybrid morphology leads us to conclude that these pulsars must have been born with an initial period larger than ∼ 35–70 milliseconds.

    • Has the crab pulsar magnetic field grown after its birth?

      D. Bhattacharya C. S. Shukre

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      We investigate the evolution of rotation period and spindown age of a pulsar whose surface magnetic field undergoes a phase of growth. Application of these results to the Crab pulsar strongly indicates that its parameters cannot be accounted for by the field growth theories.

    • Ionized gas towards galactic centre — Constraints from low-frequency recombination lines

      K. R. Anantharamaiah D. Bhattacharya

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      Observations of the H272α recombination line towards the galactic centre show features near VLSR= 0, −50 and + 36 kms−1. We have combined the parameters of these features with the available H166α measurements to obtain the properties of the ionized gas present along the line of sight and also in the ‘3 kpc arm’. For the line-of-sight ionized gas we get an electron density around 7 cm−3 and a pathlength through it ∼ 10–60 pc. The emission measure and the electron temperature are in the range 500–2900 pc cm−6 and 2000–6000 K. respectively. The ionized gas in the 3 kpc arm has an electron density of 30 cm−3 and extends over 9 pc along the line of sight if we assume an electron temperature of 104 K. Using the available upper limit to the intensity of the H351α recombination line, we show that the distributed ionized gas responsible for the dispersion of pulsar signals should have a temperature >4500 K. and a minimum filling factor of 20 per cent. We also show that recombination lines from the ‘warm ionized’ gas proposed by McKee & Ostriker (1977) should be detectable in the frequency range 100–150 MHz towards the galactic centre with the sensitivity available at present.

    • On the morphology of supernova remnants with pulsars

      D. Bhattacharya

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      One of the intriguing aspects of supernova remnants is their morphology. While the majority of them look like hollow shells, a few, called plerions, are centrally filled like the Crab nebula, and some have a shell-plerion combination morphology. The centrally-filled component in these remnants is believed to be powered by a central pulsar. In this paper we present results of model calculations of the evolution of surface brightness and morphology of supernova remnants containing pulsars. We discuss how the morphology of a supernova remnant will depend on the velocity of expansion, the density of the ambient medium into which it is expanding, and the initial period and magnetic field strength of the central pulsar

    • Gamma rays from millisecond pulsars

      D. Bhattacharya G Srinivasan

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      We estimate the contribution of millisecond pulsars to the diffuse gamma-ray background of the Galaxy, and show that a significant fraction of the Galactic background may originate from them. A small number of the unidentified COS-B point sources may, in fact, be millisecond pulsars. It is argued that several hundred millisecond pulsars may be detectable as point sources by the GRO satellite

    • A numerical survey of neutron star crustal density profiles

      B. Datta A. V. Thampan D. Bhattacharya

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      An accurate numerical survey of the density profiles corresponding to the crusts of neutron stars for representative equation of state models is presented. This will find application in calculations of thermal and magnetic evolution of neutron stars.

    • The Central Point Source in G76.9+1.0

      V. R. Marthi J. N. Chengalur Y. Gupta G. C. Dewangan D. Bhattacharya

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      We describe the serendipitous discovery of a very steep-spectrum radio point source in low-frequency Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) images of the supernova remnant (SNR) G76.9+1.0. The steep spectrum, as well as the location of the point source near the centre of this SNR confirm that this indeed is the pulsar J2022+3842. Archival Chandra X-ray data shows a point source coincident with the radio point source. However, no pulsed radio emission was detected despite deep searches at 610 MHz and 1160 MHz – which can be understood to be due to temporal broadening of the pulses. Weak pulsed emission has indeed been seen at 2 GHz with the Green Bank Telescope (GBT), establishing the fact that scattering is responsible for its non-detection at low radio frequencies. We underline the usefulness of low-frequency radio imaging as a good technique to prospect for pulsar candidates.

    • 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.

    • Editorial

      S. Seetha D. Bhattacharya

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    • AstroSat science support cell


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      AstroSat is India’s first dedicated multi-wavelength space observatory launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on 28 September 2015. After launch, the AstroSat Science Support Cell (ASSC) was set up as a joint venture of ISRO and the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) with the primary purpose of facilitating the use of AstroSat, both for making observing proposals and for utilising archival data. The ASSC organises meetings, workshops and webinars to train users in these activities, runs a help desk to address user queries, provides utility tools and disseminatesanalysis software through a consolidated web portal. It also maintains the AstroSat Proposal Processing System (APPS) which is deployed at ISSDC, a software platform central to the workflow management of AstroSat operations. This paper illustrates the various aspects of ASSC functionality.

    • A generalized event selection algorithm for AstroSat CZT imager data


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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.

    • AstroSat/SSM data pipeline


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      The data pipeline at the Payload Operation Centre (POC) of the Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM) onboard AstroSat involves: (i) fetching the Level-0 data from the Indian Space Science Data Centre (ISSDC), (ii) Level-0 to Level-1 data processing followed by Level-2 data generation, and (iii) transfer of theLevel-1 and Level-2 data back to ISSDC for dissemination of the re-packaged Level-2 data products. The major tasks involved in the generation of Level-1 and Level-2 data products are: (a) quality checks; time, alignment corrections, (b) temporal-HK plots generation, and, (c) image processing; light curve generation.The typical turn around time for this fully automated pipeline is about 25 min for one orbit data. In this paper, details of all the stages of this data pipeline are discussed.

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


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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.

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


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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


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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.

    • India and the SKA: An overview


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      The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Observatory is a next-generation radio astronomy facility that has recently entered into the construction phase, after successful completion of the design and prototyping phases during 2013–2021. Planned to be operational by the end of this decade, the SKA is expected to revolutionise astronomy by allowing cutting edge explorations in an extremely wide range of science areas, while driving the growth of many important new state-of-the-art technologies. There are more than 10 countries currentlyparticipating in the international consortium to build this facility, which will be co-located in Australia andSouth Africa with the global headquarters in the United Kingdom. Indian scientists and engineers have played a significant role since the beginning: from the definition of the SKA concept and its science case, to some important aspects of the design of the instrument and the prototyping activities. India is now getting ready to join the construction phase of the SKA with a well defined proposal for technical activities spanning a few different areas of work. Along with this, Indian astronomers are busy refining their science case for the SKA and preparing in different ways to be ready for front line science with the facility as and when it is commissioned. All these activities are coordinated by the SKA India consortium, which currently has a membership of more than 20 institutions across the country. In this paper, we describe the current status of the SKA project, and focus on India’s role—past contributions, ongoing activities and future plans.

  • Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | News

    • 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.

    • Editorial Note on Continuous Article Publication

      Posted on July 25, 2019

      Click here for Editorial Note on CAP Mode

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