Aditya-L1 mission set to unlock solar mysteries as it approaches target position
ISRO's Aditya-L1 mission journeys to study the Sun, unravelling solar mysteries with advanced instruments along the way, aiming to enhance space weather understanding and scientific insights.
India's space agency, ISRO, is making significant strides with its Aditya-L1 mission, aimed at advancing our understanding of the Sun. Equipped with seven cutting-edge instruments, the spacecraft is not only observing the Sun from a distance but also measuring high-energy particles emitted as it travels. This data is crucial for monitoring space weather and gaining insights into dynamic solar processes, still shrouded in mystery.
The Chromosphere Conundrum
A key focus of the mission is to unravel the Sun's enigmatic heating process, from the chromosphere to the corona. Recent research suggests that fine structures on the chromosphere hold the answers to why the outer atmosphere is hotter than the surface, akin to a campfire getting hotter as one moves away from it.
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While Aditya-L1 lacks infrared instruments to avoid saturation by intense sunlight, it has already transmitted data from its Supra Thermal and Energetic Particle Spectrometer (STEPS) and High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS) instruments.
Journey to L1
Heading towards the Sun's first Lagrange point (L1), a gravitationally stable region, the spacecraft has encountered challenges in tracking its position due to the Sun always being ahead and the Earth behind. However, this unique vantage point is ideal for minimal fuel consumption.
ISRO Chairman S Somanath emphasised the mission's significance, highlighting its potential to enhance our comprehension of solar impacts on space weather. The suite of instruments on Aditya-L1 will not only provide valuable data but also aid in interpreting observations from other space missions.
Space Minister Jitendra Singh shared an update, noting that the Aditya mission has commenced sending data and is scheduled to commence full operations in January. The spacecraft, launched on November 2, 2023, is expected to reach its target position in the second week of January. Once in position at the L1 point, Aditya-L1 will continuously observe the Sun without interruptions, offering unprecedented insights into our host star's dynamics, PTI reported.
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