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Indian scientists harness radio data to capture sharpest visuals yet of the sun - Times of India

PUNE: A team of Indian scientists, in a bid to better understand the sun and its influence on earth, have captured the best radio images yet of the star.

The team comprises Divya Oberoi of National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), Atul Mohan and Surajit Mondal. These pictures are 1,00,000 better than currently available radio images of the sun, the scientists said. “What we have done is to capture the most accurate high-contrast images of the sun,” said Oberoi.

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Oberoi started his work on building the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope in Australia in 2004. “By 2012, I had moved to NCRA. My research students were working on how to understand the sun better,” said Oberoi.

A project, led by Mondal, focused on developing a software called ‘Automated Imaging Routine for Compact Arrays for the Radio Sun’. or AIRCARS. This software would translate the radio data from the telescope into high-resolution pictures.

The project led by Atul MOhan worked on the application of these images.

“Because of the brightness of the sun, it was not possible to take pictures of it and so, our understanding was limited to the bright surface. However, the sun is an important factor in the cosmos and affects the weather in the space around the earth. Hence, these pictures are important as, for the first time ever, show the fainter features of the sun,” said Oberoi.

These studies will appear in the April issue of the ‘Astrophysical Journal’ of the American Astronomical Society. Other contributors were Colin Lonsdale and Leonid Benkevitch, both from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA; John Morgan from Curtin University, Australia; Iver Cairns from University of Sydney; and Meagan Crowley from University of Massachusetts, USA.