Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope UPSC NOTE


Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT)

  • The Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), located near Narayangaon, Pune in India.

  • It is an array of thirty fully steerable parabolic radio telescopes of 45 metre diameter, observing at metre wavelengths. 

  • It is the largest and most sensitive radio telescope array in the world at low frequencies.

  • It is operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), a part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. 

  • It was conceived and built under the direction of Late Prof. Govind Swarup during 1984 to 1996.

  • It was recently upgraded with new receivers, after which it is also known as the upgraded Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (uGMRT).

Observations of GMRT

  • One of the aims for the telescope during its development was to search for the highly redshifted 21-cm line radiation from primordial neutral hydrogen clouds in order to determine the epoch of galaxy formation in the universe.

  • Astronomers from all over the world regularly use this telescope to observe many different astronomical objects such as HII regions, galaxies, pulsars, supernovae, and Sun and solar winds.

  • In August 2018, the most distant galaxy ever known, located at a distance of 12 billion light years, was discovered by GMRT.

  • In February 2020, it helped in the observation of the biggest explosion in the history of the universe, the Ophiuchus Supercluster explosion.

  • In January 2023, the telescope picked up a radio signal which originated from 8.8 billion light years away.

  • GMRT was among the world’s six large telescopes that played a vital role in providing evidence confirming the presence of gravitational waves using pulsar observations.

  • An international team of astronomers from India, Japan and Europe has published the results from monitoring pulsars, called ‘nature’s best clocks’.

  • These results provide a hint of evidence for the relentless vibrations of the fabric of the universe, caused by ultra-low frequency gravitational waves.

  • Such waves are expected to originate from a large number of dancing monster black hole pairs, crores of times heavier than our sun.

What are Gravitational Waves?

  • Gravitational waves are ripples in space-time caused by some of the most violent and energetic processes in the Universe.

  • Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916 in his general theory of relativity.

  • Einstein's mathematics showed that massive accelerating objects would disrupt space-time in such a way that waves of undulating space-time would propagate in all directions away from the source.

  • These massive objects include things like neutron stars or black holes orbiting each other.

  • These cosmic ripples would travel at the speed of light, carrying with them information about their origins, as well as clues to the nature of gravity itself.

  • The strongest gravitational waves are produced by cataclysmic events such as colliding black holes, supernovae (massive stars exploding at the end of their lifetimes), and colliding neutron stars.

  • Other gravitational waves are predicted to be caused by the rotation of neutron stars that are not perfect spheres.

  • Possibly even the remnants of gravitational radiation created by the Big Bang.

  • Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), which made the first direct detection of gravitational waves in 2015.

What are pulsars?

  • Pulsars are a type of rapidly rotating neutron stars that are essentially embers of dead stars which are present in our galaxy. 

  • A pulsar is like a cosmic lighthouse as it emits radio beams that flashes by the Earth regularly akin to a harbour lighthouse.

  • As these signals are accurately timed, there is a great interest in studying these pulsars and to unravel the mysteries of the Universe. 

  • In order to detect gravitational wave signals, scientists explore several ultra-stable pulsar clocks randomly distributed across our Milky Way galaxy and create an ‘imaginary’ galactic-scale gravitational wave detector.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope UPSC NOTE
Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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