The Russian ultraviolet telescope which was created by Russia along with international participation has started its work on the International Space Station (ISS). The telescope has already collected its first data, Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics of Lomonosov Moscow State University (SINP MSU) told newsagency. Notably, the unmanned Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft had delivered the Russian telescope to the International Space Station back in August.
"On October 7, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka mounted scientific equipment of the space experiment project 'UV atmosphere' (Mini-EUSO)...on a porthole of the ISS Zvezda service module. At 9:40 pm Moscow time [18:40 GMT], the first session of the experiment began...After 30 seconds of work, the first powerful ultraviolet flashes in Earth's atmosphere were registered by the device," a spokesman for the scientific research institute said.
During its 13 hours of operation, the device collected more than 13 gigabytes of data. Part of the data has already been received by the ISS Mission Control Centre. The data has been transferred to SINP MSU researchers as well as the Extreme Universe Space Observatory onboard Japanese Experiment Module (JEM-EUSO) for the data to get processed and analysed.
The telescope was created by SINP MSU staff, MSU physics students and their Italian colleagues from the Tor Vergata University as part of the JEM-EUSO international collaboration. The optics and lenses of the telescope were made in Japan and the electronic components were made in Russia. The complete telescope was assembled at SINP MSU.
According to the scientists, Water has been discovered for the first time in the atmosphere of an exoplanet with Earth-like temperatures that could support life as we know. NASA's Hubble telescope is responsible for this discovery. Eight times the mass of Earth and twice as big, K2-18b orbits in its star's "habitable zone" at a distance. This distance is neither too far nor too close, where water can exist in liquid form, they reported in the journal Nature Astronomy.
(With inputs from ANI)