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PASIPHAE

The development of a vital instrument PASIPHAE, which will be used in upcoming sky surveys to study stars, is being led by an Indian astronomer.

What is PASIPHAE?

  • PASIPHAE stands for Polar-Areas Stellar-Imaging in Polarisation High-Accuracy Experiment.
  • The name is inspired by Pasiphae, the daughter of Greek Sun God Helios.
  • It is an international collaborative sky surveying project. Scientists aim to study the polarisation in the light coming from millions of stars.
  • It will focus on capturing starlight polarisation of very faint stars that are so far away that polarisation signals from there have not been systematically studied.
  • By combining the data, astronomers will perform a maiden magnetic field tomography mapping of the interstellar medium of very large areas of the sky using a novel polarimeter instrument known as WALOP
  • The survey will use two high-tech optical polarimeters to observe the northern and southern skies, simultaneously..

How  PASIPHAE work’s ?

  • The PASIPHAE survey will measure starlight polarisation over large areas of the sky.
  • This data along with distances to the stars will help create a 3-Dimensional model of the distribution of the dust and magnetic field structure of the galaxy.
  • Such data can help remove the galactic polarized foreground light and enable astronomers to look for the elusive B-mode signal.
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