News: India’s Astrosat space telescope has witnessed the birth of a black hole in space for the 500th time.

• It is India’s first multi-wavelength space telescope, which has 5 telescopes seeing through different wavelengths simultaneously – visible, near UV, far UV, soft X-ray and hard X-ray.
• Onboard the AstroSat is a 38-cm wide UltraViolet Imaging Telescope (UVIT), which is capable of imaging in far and near-ultraviolet bands over a wide field of view.
• AstroSat was launched on 28 September 2015 by ISRO into a near-Earth equatorial orbit.
• It is a multi-institute collaborative project, involving IUCAA, ISRO, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (Mumbai), Indian Institute of Astrophysics (Bengaluru), and Physical Research Laboratory (Ahmedabad), among others.
• It has been studying Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRB).

What is a Black Hole?
• It is a place in space where gravity is so strong that even light cannot escape its pull.
• According to NASA, the gravity in black holes is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying.

What are Gamma-Ray bursts?
• GRBs are immensely energetic explosions that have been observed in distant galaxies.
• They are the brightest and most energetic electromagnetic events known to occur in the universe.
• GRBs shine hundreds of times brighter than a typical supernova and about a million trillion times as bright as the Sun.
•  When a GRB erupts, it is briefly the brightest source of cosmic gamma-ray photons in the observable Universe.

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