• DIPANKAR BHATTACHARYA

      Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

    • The evolution of the magnetic fields of neutron stars

      Dipankar Bhattacharya

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      Observational evidence, and theoretical models of the magnetic field evolution of neutron stars is discussed. Observational data indicates that the magnetic field of a neutron star decays significantly only if it has been a member of a close interacting binary. Theoretically, the magnetic field evolution has been related to the processing of a neutron star in a binary system through the spin evolution of the neutron star, and also through the accretion of matter on the neutron star surface. I describe two specific models, one in which magnetic flux is expelled from the superconducting core during spin-down, via a copuling between Abrikosov fluxoids and Onsager-Feynman vortices; and another in which the compression and heating of the stellar crust by the accreted mass drastically reduces the ohmic decay time scale of a magnetic field configuration confined entirely to the crust. General remarks about the behaviour of the crustal field under ohmic diffusion are also made.

    • Evolution of neutron star magnetic fields

      Dipankar Bhattacharya

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      This paper reviews the current status of the theoretical models of the evolution of the magnetic fields of neutron stars other than magnetars. It appears that the magnetic fields of neutron stars decay significantly only if they are in binary systems. Three major physical models for this, namely spindown-induced flux expulsion, ohmic evolution of crustal field and diamagnetic screening of the field by accreted plasma, are reviewed.

    • Neutron Star Physics in the Square Kilometre Array Era: An Indian Perspective

      Sushan Konar Manjari Bagchi Debades Bandyopadhyay Sarmistha Banik Dipankar Bhattacharya Sudip Bhattacharyya R. T. Gangadhara A. Gopakumar Yashwant Gupta B. C. Joshi Yogesh Maan Chandreyee Maitra Dipanjan Mukherjee Archana Pai Biswajit Paul Alak K. Ray Firoza K. Sutaria

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      It is an exceptionally opportune time for astrophysics when a number of next-generation mega-instruments are poised to observe the Universe across the entire electromagnetic spectrum with unprecedented data quality. The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is undoubtedly one of the major components of this scenario. In particular, the SKA is expected to discover tens of thousands of new neutron stars giving a major fillip to a wide range of scientific investigations. India has a sizeable community of scientists working on different aspects of neutron star physics with immediate access to both the uGMRT (an SKA pathfinder) and the recently launched X-ray observatory Astrosat. The current interests of the community largely centre around studies of (a) the generation of neutron stars and the SNe connection, (b) the neutron star population and evolutionary pathways, (c) the evolution of neutron stars in binaries and the magnetic fields, (d) the neutron star equation of state, (e) the radio pulsar emission mechanism, and (f) the radio pulsars as probes of gravitational physics. Most of these studies are the main goals of the SKA first phase, which is likely to be operational in the next four years. This article summarizes the science goals of the Indian neutron star community in the SKA era, with significant focus on coordinated efforts among the SKA and other existing/upcoming instruments.

    • Early In-orbit Performance of Scanning Sky Monitor Onboard AstroSat

      M. C. Ramadevi B. T. Ravishankar N. Sitaramamurthy G. Meena Brajpal Singh Anand Jain Reena Yadav Anil Agarwal V. Chandra Babu Kumar Ankur Kushwaha S. Vaishali Nirmal Kumar Iyer Anuj Nandi Girish V. Vivek Kumar Agarwal S. Seetha Dipankar Bhattacharya K. Balaji Manoj Kumar Prashanth Kulshresta

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      We report the in-orbit performance of Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM) onboard AstroSat. The SSM operates in the energy range 2.5 to 10 keV and scans the sky to detect and locate transient X-ray sources. This information of any interesting phenomenon in the X-ray sky as observed by SSM is provided to the astronomical community for follow-up observations. Following the launch of AstroSat on 28th September, 2015, SSM was commissioned on October 12th, 2015. The first power ON of the instrument was with the standard X-ray source, Crab in the field-of-view. The first orbit data revealed the basic expected performance of one of the detectors of SSM, SSM1. Following this in the subsequent orbits, the other detectors were also powered ON to find them perform in good health. Quick checks of the data from the first few orbits revealed that the instrument performed with the expected angular resolution of 12’ × 2.5 and effective area in the energy range of interest. This paper discusses the instrument aspects along with few on-board results immediately after power ON.

    • Editorial

      Dipankar Bhattacharya K. S. Dwarakanath Sushan Konar

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    • Observing Compact Stars with AstroSat

      Dipankar Bhattacharya

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      This article presents a brief description of India’s AstroSat mission which is a powerful space based observatory for compact star research. An account is given of observational constraints and spectral and timing capabilities as realised post-launch. Some preliminary results of observations of the Crab pulsar and an X-ray binary system GX 301-2 are presented to illustrate some of the capabilities of the mission.

    • Study of X-ray transients with Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM) onboard AstroSat

      M. C. RAMADEVI B. T. RAVISHANKAR ABHILASH R. SARWADE S. VAISHALI NIRMAL KUMAR IYER ANUJ NANDI V. GIRISH VIVEK KUMAR AGARWAL BLESSY ELIZABETH BABY MOHAMMED HASAN S. SEETHA DIPANKAR BHATTACHARYA

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      Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM) onboard AstroSat is an X-ray sky monitor in the energy range 2.5–10 keV. SSM scans the sky for X-ray transient sources in this energy range of interest. If an X-ray transient source is detected in outburst by SSM, the information will be provided to the astronomical community for follow-up observations to do a detailed study of the source in various other bands. SSM instrument, since its power-ON in orbit, has observed a number of X-ray sources. This paper discusses observations of few X-ray transients by SSM. The flux reported by SSM for few sources during its Performance Verification phase (PV phase) is studied and the results are discussed.

    • AstroSat proposal processing system

      C. BALAMURUGAN SACHIN NARANG PRADNYA BHOYE MANDAR HULSURKAR GULAB DEWANGAN DIPANKAR BHATTACHARYA B. N. RAMAKRISHNA

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      AstroSat Proposal Processing System (APPS) is a mission critical software solution designed and developed by the joint efforts of Indian Space Research Organization and the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics. It facilitates the participation of global scientific community to submit scientificproposals for observations with India’s first multi-wavelength space observatory. The software systematizes the proposal submission and review process before the successful proposed observations are scheduled to carryout scientific observations. This paper describes the overall architecture of the system,implementation stratagems, administrative aspects and security aspects of the software. The paper also describes the techniques adopted for seamless day-to-day operations in meeting the mission requirements. As a future direction, the paper summarizes the roadmap for development of a generic multi-mission proposal handling model from the experiences gained through APPS.

    • A new measurement of the spin and orbital parameters of the high mass X-ray binary Centaurus X-3 using AstroSat

      PARISEE SHIRKE SUMAN BALA JAYASHREE ROY DIPANKAR BHATTACHARYA

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      We present the timing results of out-of-eclipse observations of Centaurus X-3 spanning half a binary orbit, performed on 12–13 December, 2016 with the Large Area X-ray Proportional Counter (LAXPC) on-board AstroSat. The pulse profile was confirmed to exhibit a prominent pulse peak with a secondary inter-pulse. The systemic spin period of the pulsar was found to be $4.80188 \pm 0.000085$ s in agreement with its spin up trend. The spin up timescale seems to have increased to $7709\pm 58$ yr that points to negative torque effects in the inner accretion disk. We also report the derived values of projected semi-major axis and orbital velocity of the neutron star.

    • Absolute time calibration of LAXPC aboard AstroSat

      AVISHEK BASU DIPANKAR BHATTACHARYA BHAL CHANDRA JOSHI

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      The AstroSat mission carries several high-energy detectors meant for fast timing studies of cosmic sources. In order to carry out high precision multi-wavelength timing studies, it is essential to calibrate the absolute time stamps of these instruments to the best possible accuracy. We present here theabsolute time calibration of the AstroSat LAXPC instrument, utilising the broad-band electromagnetic emission from the Crab Pulsar to cross calibrate against Fermi-LAT and ground based radio observatories Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) and the Ooty Radio Telescope (ORT). Using the techniques of pulsar timing, we determine the fixed timing offsets of LAXPC with respect to these different instruments and also compare the offsets with those of another AstroSat instrument, CZTI.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Calibration of Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM) onboard AstroSat

      ABHILASH R. SARWADE M. C. RAMADEVI B. T. RAVISHANKAR BRAJPAL SINGH BLESSY ELIZABETH BABY DIPANKAR BHATTACHARYA S. SEETHA

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      SSM onboard AstroSat is designed to monitor X-ray sky in the energy range 2.5–10 keV to detect and locate X-ray sources in outburst. SSM with its three almost identical 1D-proportional counters mounted on a rotating platform, scans the sky in step and stare mode of operation. It observes the X-ray skyand generates light curves for X-ray sources detected. Here, we discuss the positional calibration to carry out imaging with SSM. Onboard calibration of SSM has been carried out with Crab, the standard X-ray source. SSM observations of Crab are compared with that of MAXI on ISS for cross calibration of the instrument.

    • 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).

  • 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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