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ISRO to launch its first solar mission Aditya-L1 to study Sun. What is it?

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Aditya-L1 will be positioned in a halo orbit 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, near the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system.

The Indian orbit Research Organisation (ISRO) said on Monday that Aditya-L1, which would be the first Indian mission to study the Sun from orbit, is almost ready to launch.

Aditya-L1, the first Indian observatory to study the Sun from orbit, is nearly set for launch, the ISRO said on X, previously known as Twitter. The U R Rao Satellite Center (URSC), Bengaluru-built satellite has arrived at SDSC-SHAR, Sriharikota.

Aditya

What is the purpose of Aditya L1?

According to the ISRO, the Aditya L1 mission would be the country’s first solar observatory mission to orbit the Sun. The spacecraft will be positioned in a halo orbit 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, at the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system.

According to the ISRO, the mission would be launched from Sriharikota’s Sathish Dhawan Space Center SHAR (SDSC SHAR) using a PSLV rocket. In the beginning, the spacecraft will be positioned in a low Earth orbit. The spacecraft will then use an on-board engine to propel itself toward the L1 point as the orbit becomes more elliptical.

The spacecraft will leave the Earth’s gravitational Sphere of Influence (SOI) when it approaches L1, according to the ISRO, at which point the cruise phase will start. Following that, the spacecraft will be sent into a massive halo orbit around L1.

For Aditya-L1, the overall trip period from the launch to the L1 point would be around four months.

The ISRO claims that a satellite positioned at L1 will have the huge benefit of always being able to see the Sun without being hindered by any occultation or eclipses.

Another benefit of the trip will be the ability to track solar activity and see how it affects space weather in real time.

The spacecraft will be carrying seven payloads that will use electromagnetic, particle, and magnetic field detectors to investigate the photosphere, chromosphere, and the uppermost layers of the Sun (the corona).

Four payloads will utilize the L1 unusual vantage point to see the sun directly, and three payloads will examine the particles and fields at the L1 point. According to the ISRO website, this will “provide important scientific studies of the propagation effect of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium.”

Important data pertaining to issues with coronal heating, coronal mass ejection, pre-flare and flare activities and their features, dynamics of space weather, and propagation of particles and fields, among other things, is anticipated to be delivered by Aditya L1 payloads.

What are the mission’s primary goals?

The mission’s primary objective will be to examine the dynamics of the solar upper atmosphere (chromosphere and corona). It will also research flares, the beginning of coronal mass ejections, chromospheric and coronal heating, and the physics of partly ionized plasma.

In order to collect data for the study of particle dynamics from the Sun, the mission will monitor the particle and plasma environment. The mission’s primary objective will be to comprehend the physics of the solar corona and its heating process.

It will go more deeply into the coronal and coronal loops plasma’s temperature, velocity, and density. Additionally, it will study the evolution, behavior, and genesis of CMEs.

The mission will determine the sequence of events that occur in the chromosphere, base, and extended corona of the Sun that often result in solar eruptive events.

The project is to determine the measurements and structure of the magnetic field in the solar corona.

Along with the solar wind’s origin, composition, and behavior, it will reveal what causes space weather.

The chromosphere and corona of the sun are primarily seen by Aditya-L1’s sensors, according to ISRO. At L1, in-situ equipment will monitor the immediate environment. There are a total of seven payloads aboard, four of which are used for solar remote sensing and three for in-situ observation.

Which seven payloads are there?

Seven scientific payloads for “carrying out systematic study of the Sun” will be carried by the Aditya-L1 mission.

The payloads include:

The Corona, imaging, spectroscopy, and Coronal mass ejections will all be studied via the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC).

The narrow and wide photosphere and chromosphere imaging will be the primary focus of the Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT). Additionally, it will track changes in solar irradiation.

The Soft and Hard X-ray Flares from the Sun will be studied across a broad X-ray energy range by the Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS) and High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS).

The electrons and protons in the solar wind or particles will be analyzed by the Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX) and the Plasma Analyzer Package for Aditya (PAPA). It will also research the powerful ions.

The interplanetary magnetic field at L1 point will be studied using the Advanced Tri-axial High Resolution Digital Magnetometers.

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