- The 3-day workshop was jointly organized by the Department of Physics, IIT Kanpur and Aditya-L1 Support Cell at Aryabhatta Observational Science Research Institute (ARIES), Nainital
- IITK is actively involved in the science objectives of the Aditya-L1 Mission by ISRO, where a satellite has been launched to the Sun to study the Sun, its atmosphere, and its effects on Earth
- The workshop aimed to train selected final-year undergraduate (UG), MSc, and PhD students in the utilization of upcoming data from the satellite.
National, 05 October 2023: The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) has organized the fifth Aditya-L1 Workshop at IIT Kanpur. The 3-day workshop was jointly organized by the Department of Physics at IIT Kanpur and Aditya-L1 Support Cell at Aryabhatta Observational Science Research Institute (ARIES), Nainital.
IITK is actively involved in the science objectives of the Aditya-L1 Mission by ISRO, where a satellite has been launched to the Sun for the first time by India to study the Sun, its atmosphere, and its effects on Earth. The workshop aimed to train selected final-year undergraduate (UG), MSc, and PhD students in the utilization of upcoming data from the satellite.
The workshop was inaugurated by Prof. Harshawardhan Wanare, Head of the Department of Physics and the Centre for Lasers and Photonics at IIT Kanpur. Prof. Gopal Hazra from the Department of Physics welcomed the audience, and Dr. Vaibhav Pant of ARIES delivered a speech on the importance of the Aditya-L1 support cell for analyzing upcoming data from the Aditya-L1 mission.
Prof. S. Krishna Prasad from ARIES presented an introduction to the basics of the Sun and its structure, followed by other experts delivering lectures on plasma processes inside the Sun, solar wind, its connection to laboratory plasma, and how to measure magnetic fields in space.
Eminent scientist Prof. Arnab Rai Choudhuri delivered an institute lecture on “The mysterious magnetic personality of our Sun,” which was attended by more than 300 people.
The second day of the workshop focused on introducing the observational aspects of the Sun. It covered how scientists observe various phenomena on the Sun, such as solar flares, solar wind, solar coronal mass ejections, and solar energetic particles. Participants were given hands-on training in using the magnetohydrodynamic code PLUTO, a numerical code for computational astrophysics used to understand the origin of solar storms.
Participants also visited the Plasma lab of Prof. Sudeep Bhattacharjee in the Department of Physics to learn about the generation and confinement of plasma in the laboratory. As the Sun is essentially a spherical ball of plasma, this lab visit provided participants with a real sense of what plasma might look like. Additionally, participants visited the accelerator lab of Prof. Aditya Kelkar in the Department of Physics to learn about the acceleration of particles like electrons and protons, a process that occurs continuously in the Sun.
The third day of the workshop was dedicated to the Aditya-L1 mission, where participants, after gaining theoretical and observational understanding, were facilitated to appreciate the complexity of mission payloads.
Prof. Dipankar Banerjee discussed two payloads, the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) and Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT), as well as the possibility of coordinated observation in collaboration with NASA and ESA missions such as the Parker Solar Probe and Solar Orbiter. Other payloads were also presented, along with descriptions and challenges in their development. Participants were also given a hands-on session on solar data analysis, focusing on finding coronal holes in the solar atmosphere using various packages and Python.
Two lectures were open to the IIT Kanpur community. Prof. Dipankar Banerjee, Director of ARIES, presented a lecture on “Aditya-L1: India’s own mission,” emphasizing how a nationwide collaborative effort among many institutes led to the creation of one of the world’s most cutting-edge space observatories, entirely made in India. Prof. Piyali Chatterjee from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics explained, in her lecture, how laboratory viscoelastic fluids could be used to address one of the most intriguing questions in solar physics: the coronal heating problem. She discussed why heat transfer from a lower-temperature region to a higher-temperature region occurs, which goes against traditional thermodynamic laws, and how the Aditya-L1 mission can help us understand this phenomenon.
The workshop included 50 student participants where 30 were from outside of Kanpur and 20 from IIT Kanpur and local universities. They have been selected based on their academic performance in their respective courses.
About IIT Kanpur:
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur was established on 2nd November 1959 by an Act of Parliament. The institute has a sprawling campus spread over 1055 acres with large pool of academic and research resources spanning across 19 departments, 22 centres, and 3 Interdisciplinary programs in engineering, science, design, humanities, and management disciplines with more than 540 full-time faculty members and approximately 9000 students. In addition to formal undergraduate and postgraduate courses, the institute has been active in research and development in areas of value to both industry and government. For more information, visit www.iitk.ac.in