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Current Affairs


Date: 15 June 2021 Tags: Space


Scientists are making use of a vital instrument known as PASIPHAE to study and survey stars in the universe.



The study of stars forms an important part in understanding the origin and evolution of the universe and also birth of life.



  • PASIPHAE stands for Polar-Areas Stellar-Imaging in Polarisation High-Accuracy Experiment and is collaboration between leading universities.

  • Major focus of the researchers would be on the polarisation effect in the lights coming from stars located far away.

  • The instrument will survey the night sky in southern and northern hemisphere using high quality optical polarimeters.

  • The instrument will put more focus on faint polarisation that takes place in light coming from far away stars, which are not yet properly studied. Measurements are obtained from the GAIA satellite.



  • The Institute of Astrophysics, Greece is the leader. Other members include Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), India; the University of Oslo etc are the members.

  • Organisations such as Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Greece; Infosys Foundation, India and USA’s National Science Foundation have given grants for the research.



  • The survey created by PASPHAE will be used to create a 3D model of magnetic field structure and cloud distribution in the galaxy.

  • It will try to find evidence of Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) that was formed during the universe expansion.



Emerging polarised light signals present in high galactic latitudes will be detected through the Wide Area Linear Optical Polarimeter (WALOP) that is fixed on optical telescopes.