Daksha: Finding High Energy Emissions from Gravitational Wave sources
Dr. Varun Bhalerao
Date & Time :
Auditorium & Zoom
What happens when two neutron stars collide? Are these really the sources of most of the gold, platinum, and other heavy elements in the universe? After decades of theoretical speculation, we finally found the answer in August 2017. Advanced gravitational wave detectors - LIGO and Virgo - discovered the coalescence of two neutron stars 130 million light-years away from Earth. At nearly the same time, Earth-orbiting satellites saw a flash of high-energy radiation from the same direction. What followed was arguably the most frantic period of activity in modern astronomy: with over 3500 individuals from 950 institutes joining forces to pinpoint the source in the sky and uncover its secrets. But despite several neutron star mergers being discovered since we never caught any more photons from them - the current satellite network is just not sensitive enough. Enter Daksha: a highly ambitious Indian mission to create two satellites that are several times more sensitive to these bursts than anything ever flown. I will give a brief introduction to the electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational wave sources. Then I will describe the proposed mission and expected science returns.
About Speaker :
The speaker is an Associate Professor at IIT Bombay. This invited seminar is a part of the activities commemorating "75 years of India's Independence: Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav" at ARIES.