The skies are waiting with bated breath as the countdown to the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) most ambitious solar mission begins.
Under the banner of ‘Aditya-L1’, this expedition is set to redefine cosmic frontiers and deepen our understanding of the sun.
ISRO Sets Date For Its Solar Mission ‘Aditya-L1’
Come September 2, at precisely 11:50 am, ISRO will embark on its first-ever mission to study the sun. The ‘Aditya-L1’ will be launched from the Sriharikota space centre.
ISRO intends for the Aditya-L1 to observe the solar corona from a remote location labelled the Sun-Earth Lagrange point L1.
Named after Joseph-Louis Lagrange, these points in space exist where the gravitational forces of two large celestial bodies balance, effectively creating a stability zone. In case of Aditya-L1, this point exists approximately 1.5 million kilometres away from Earth.
This strategic positioning equips a satellite with the benefit of continuous, unhindered observation of solar activities. Consequently, this real-time constant view paves the way for understanding the influence of space weather on our home planet.
Remarkably, the ‘Aditya-L1’ will be launched into the cosmos aboard the reliable PSLV-C57 rocket.
The Mission of ‘Aditya-L1’
The primary focus of this novel mission encompasses studying the sun’s upper atmosphere (the chromosphere and corona) in addition to its interaction with the solar wind. What makes this mission integral is its role in the study of partially ionized plasma in the solar atmosphere.
Not only will this mission probe the heating mechanisms of the solar corona, but also investigate the initiation of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and solar flares.
Monitoring the particle and plasma environment in the vicinity of the Sun, the mission aims to characterize the magnetic field in the solar corona.
To achieve these goals, the Aditya-L1 is equipped with seven payloads, designed to study the various aspects of the sun. These include the solar corona, chromosphere, photosphere, and solar wind.
To provide insights into coronal heating, pre-flare and flare activities, along with the dynamics of space weather, four remote sensing payloads will be utilized.
Imaging the solar atmosphere in different wavelengths of light, these instruments are expected to drive a quantum shift in our understanding of the sun.
Particularly, the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) and the Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) will provide valuable images of solar activities. The addition of Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS) and High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS) make this endeavor even more impressive.
Additional three in-situ payloads will measure the solar wind’s composition, dynamics and magnetic field, with the participation of Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX), Plasma Analyser Package For Aditya (PAPA) and Advanced Tri-axial High-Resolution Digital Magnetometers.
This marks yet another significant stride by ISRO. Poised to observe and analyze the Sun’s activities as never before, this mission stands to illuminate new frontiers in our cosmic understanding.