• VARUN BHALERAO

      Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

    • 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.

    • Revisiting the Earth’s atmospheric scattering of X-ray/$\gamma$-rays and its effect on space observation: Implication for GRB spectral analysis

      SOURAV PALIT AKASH ANUMARLAPUDI VARUN BHALERAO

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      A considerable fraction of incident high energy photons from astrophysical transients such as Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) is Compton scattered by the Earth’s atmosphere. These photons, sometimes referred to as the ‘‘reflection component’’, contribute to the signal detected by space-borne X-ray/c-rayinstruments. The effectiveness and reliability of source parameters such as position, flux, spectra and polarization, inferred by these instruments are therefore highly dependent on the accurate estimation of this scattered component. Current missions use dedicated response matrices to account for these effects. However, these databases are not readily adaptable for other missions, including many upcoming transient search and gravitational wave high-energy electromagnetic counter part detectors. Furthermore, possible systematiceffects in these complex simulations have not been thoroughly examined and verified in literature. We are in the process of investigation of the effect with a detailed Monte Carlo simulations in GEANT4 for a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) X-ray detector. Here, we discuss the outcome of our simulation in form of AtmosphericResponse Matrix (ARM) and its implications of any systematic errors in the determination of source spectral characteristics. We intend to apply our results in data processing and analysis for AstroSat-CZTI observation of such sources in near future. Our simulation output and source codes will be made publicly available for use by the large number of upcoming high energy transient missions, as well as for scrutiny and systematic comparisons with other missions.

    • 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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