For the first time, India targets the Sun with ISRO's Aditya-L1 mission

India's first mission to study the Sun will be launched by ISRO in 2023 and it has been dubbed the Aditya-L1.

| Updated on: Jan 29 2023, 12:59 IST
Top astronomy photos of the week by NASA: Galaxy wars, Nebula, Moon to Sun, check them out
1/7 On January 14, NASA released an image of Perihelion Sun 2023, the image was taken after January 4, at the Earth's closest approach to the Sun. It was taken less than 24 hours after the earth's close approach. (Peter Ward (Barden Ridge Observatory))
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2/7 On January 15, another photograph was released of The Crab Nebula snapped by the Hubble Space Telescope. The Crab Nebula, the result of a supernova seen in 1054 AD, is filled with mysterious filaments. ( NASA, ESA, Hubble, J. Hester, A. Loll (ASU))
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3/7 On January 16, NASA released an image of Moon Enhanced. The featured image is a composite of multiple images enhanced to bring up real surface features. The dark areas in the image, called maria, have fewer craters and were once seas of molten lava. Additionally, the image colours, although based on the moon's real composition, are changed, and exaggerated. (Darya Kawa Mirza)
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4/7 On January 17, the image of unexpected clouds toward the Andromeda Galaxy was released. (Yann Sainty & Marcel Drechsler)
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5/7 Image of MACS0647: Gravitational Lensing of the Early Universe Captured by James Webb Space Telescope was released by NASA on January 18. ( NASA, ESA, CSA, Dan Coe (STScI), Rebecca Larson (UT), Yu-Yang Hsiao (JHU); Processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI); Text: Michael Rutkowski (Minn. St. U. Mankato))
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6/7 On January 19, the image of The Seagull Nebula was released. The complex of gas and dust clouds with other stars of the Canis Majoris OB1 association spans over 200 light-years. (Carlos Taylor)
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7/7 Galaxy Wars: M81 and M82, this image was released on January 20. On the right, with grand spiral arms and bright yellow core is spiral galaxy M81.  (Andreas Aufschnaiter)
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Aditya-L1’s main objective is to study the upper atmosphere of the Sun composed of the chromosphere and the corona. (NASA / GSFC / SDO)

After several years of development, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is expected to launch Aditya-L1 this year. It will be the first space-based Indian mission to study the Sun. This rocket will be carried by the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV). Aditya-L1's instruments are programmed to observe the solar atmosphere, especially the chromosphere and corona. The payloads of Aditya L1 are expected to provide important information to understand the issues such as coronal heating, coronal mass ejection (CME), pre-solar flare and solar flare activities. The Aditya-L1 mission will also help reveal the dynamics of space weather, propagation of solar particles and much more.

ISRO confirmed that “the spacecraft shall be placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system, which is about 1.5 million km from the Earth. ” The placement of a satellite in the halo orbit around the L1 will be a great advantage for scientists to have a constant view of the Sun without any eclipses. This will enable the real-time observation of solar activities and their effect on space weather. The spacecraft carries a total of seven payloads to observe the Sun's activity.

Payloads of Aditya-L1

  • VELC (visible emission line coronagraph)
  • SUIT (solar ultraviolet imaging telescope)
  • SoLEXS (solar low energy X-ray spectrometer)
  • HEL1OS (high energy L1 orbiting X-ray spectrometer)
  • ASPEX (Aditya solar wind particle experiment)
  • PAPA (plasma analyser package for Aditya)
  • advanced tri-axial high-resolution digital magnetometers.

Aditya-L1 launch

Aditya-L1 mission will be launched by June or July of this year, the ISRO chairman S. Somanath said during the handover ceremony of the Visible Line Emission Coronagraph (VELC) payload on January 26. VELC is the largest payload to be carried on Aditya-L1. However, ISRO is yet to announce the final date of the Aditya-L1 launch.

Objectives of Aditya-L1 mission

Its main objective is to study the Solar upper atmosphere which is the chromosphere and corona, and its heating, physics of the partially ionized plasma, initiation of the coronal mass ejections, and flares physics of solar corona and its heating mechanism. Also, it will help to examine the development, dynamics and origin of CMEs and other factors for space weather.

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First Published Date: 29 Jan, 12:58 IST