Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

    • 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.

    • Soft X-ray Focusing Telescope Aboard AstroSat: Design, Characteristics and Performance

      K. P. Singh G. C. Stewart N. J. Westergaard S. Bhattacharayya S. Chandra V. R. Chitnis G. C. Dewangan A. T. Kothare I. M. Mirza K. Mukerjee V. Navalkar H. Shah A. F. Abbey A. P. Beardmore S. Kotak N. Kamble S. Vishwakarama D. P. Pathare V. M. Risbud J. P. Koyande T. Stevenson C. Bicknell T. Crawford G. Hansford G. Peters J. Sykes P. Agarwal M. Sebastian A. Rajarajan G. Nagesh S. Narendra M. Ramesh R. Rai K. H. Navalgund K. S. Sarma R. Pandiyan K. Subbarao T. Gupta N. Thakkar A. K. Singh A. Bajpai

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      The Soft X-ray focusing Telescope (SXT), India’s first X-ray telescope based on the principle of grazing incidence, was launched aboard the AstroSat and made operational on October 26, 2015. X-rays in the energy band of 0.3–8.0 keV are focussed on to a cooled charge coupled device thus providing medium resolution X-ray spectroscopy of cosmic X-ray sources of various types. It is the most sensitive X-ray instrument aboard the AstroSat. In its first year of operation, SXT has been used to observe objects ranging from active stars, compact binaries, supernova remnants, active galactic nuclei and clusters of galaxies in order to study its performance and quantify its characteriztics. Here, we present an overview of its design, mechanical hardware, electronics, data modes, observational constraints, pipeline processing and its in-orbit performance based on preliminary results from its characterization during the performance verification phase.

    • 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.

    • AstroSat observation of 2016 outburst of H 1743-322


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      We present the detection of type C quasi-periodic oscillation (QPO) along with upper harmonic at respective frequencies of $\sim$0.6 Hz and $\sim$1.2 Hz in the single AstroSat observation taken during the 2016 outburst of the low-mass black hole X-ray binary H 1743-322. These frequencies are found to be shifted by $\sim$0.4 Hz for the QPO and $\sim$0.8 Hz for the upper harmonic with respect to that found in the simultaneous XMM-Newton and NuSTAR observation taken five days later than the AstroSat observation, indicating a certain geometrical change in the system. However, the centroid frequency of the QPO and the upper harmonic do not change with energy, indicating the energy-independent nature. The decreasing trend in thefractional rms of the QPO with energy is consistent with the previous results for this source in the low/hard state. The value of the photon index ($\Gamma \sim 1.67$) also indicates that the source was in the low/hard state duringthis particular observation. In addition, similar to the XMM-Newton observations during the same outburst, we find a hard lag of $\sim$21 ms in the frequency range of $\sim$1–5 Hz. The log-linear trend between the averaged time lag and energy indicates the propagation of fluctuations in the mass accretion rate from outer part of the accretion disk to the inner hot regions.

    • A pair of UV nuclei or a compact star-forming region near the active nucleus in Mrk 766?


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      We report the discovery of a bright, compact ultraviolet source at a projected separation of 1.1 kpc from the known active galactic nucleus (AGN) in Mrk 766 based on AstroSat/UVIT observations. We perform radial profile analysis and derive the UV flux almost free from the nearby contaminating sources. The new source is about 2.5 and 5.6 times fainter than the AGN in the far and near UV bands. The two sources appear as a pair of nuclei in Mrk 766. We investigate the nature of the new source based on the UV flux ratio, X-ray and optical emission. The new source is highly unlikely to be another accreting supermassive black hole in Mrk 766 as it lacks X-ray emission. We find that the UV/optical flux of the new source measured at four different bands closely follow the shape of the template spectrum of starburst galaxies. This strongly suggests that the new source is a compact star-forming region.

    • Calibration of AstroSat/UVIT gratings and spectral responses

      G. C. DEWANGAN

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      AstroSat/UVIT carries two gratings in the FUV channel and a single grating in the NUV channel. These gratings are useful for low resolution, slitless spectroscopy in the far and near UV bands of a variety of cosmic sources such as hot stars, interacting binaries, active galactic nuclei, etc. We presentcalibration of these gratings using observations of UV standards NGC 40 and HZ 4. We perform wavelength and flux calibration and derive effective areas for different grating orders. We find peak effective areas of $\sim$18.7 cm$^2$ at 2325 Å for the $\sim$1 order of NUV-Grating, $\sim$4.5 cm$^2$ at 1390 Å for the $-$2 order of FUVGrating1, and $\sim$4.3 cm$^2$ at 1500 Å for the $-$2 order of FUV-Grating2. The FWHM spectral resolution of the FUV gratings is $\approx$14.6 Å in the $-$2 order. The $-$1 order of NUV grating has an FWHM resolution of $\approx$33 Å. We find excellent agreement in flux measurements between the FUV/NUV gratings and all broadband filters. We have generated spectral response of the UVIT gratings and broadband filters that can directly be used in the spectral fitting packages such as XSPEC, Sherpa and ISIS, thus allowing spectral analysis of UVIT data either separately or jointly with X-ray data from AstroSat or other missions.

    • Spectro-timing analysis of a highly variable narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 4748 with AstroSat and XMM-Newton


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      We present a detailed timing and spectral study of an extremely variable narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 4748 using observations in the year 2017 and 2014 performed with AstroSat and XMM-Newton, respectively. Both observations show extremely variable soft and hard X-ray emission that are correlated with each other. In the 2014 data set, the source retains its general behaviour of ‘‘softer when brighter’’ while the 2017 observation exhibits a ‘‘harder when brighter’’ nature. Such changing behaviour is rare in AGNs and is usually observed in the black hole binary systems. The ‘‘harder when brighter’’ is confirmed with the anticorrelation between the photon index and the 0.3–10 keV power-law flux. This suggests a possible change in the accretion mode from standard to the advection-dominated flow. Additionally, both the observations show soft X-ray excess below 2 keV over the power-law continuum. This excess was fitted with a single or multiple blackbody component(s). The origin of soft excess during the 2017 observation is likely due to the cool Comptonization as the photon index changes with time. On the other hand, the broad iron line anddelayed UV emission during the 2014 observation strongly suggest that X-ray illumination onto the accretion disk and reflection and reprocessing play a significant role in this AGN.

  • 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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