Aditya L1 is planned to orbit around Lagrange Point 1 (L1), about 1.5 million km from Earth, in the Sun-Earth system. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) said on Monday that Aditya-L1, which will be India’s first space mission to study the Sun, is preparing for launch.
Referring to X, formerly known as Twitter, ISRO said, “Aditya-L1, India’s first space-based observatory for studying the Sun, is getting ready for launch. The satellite realized at UR Rao Satellite Center (URSC), Bengaluru has arrived at SDSC-SHAR, Sriharikota.
What is Aditya L1 mission?
The Aditya L1 mission will be India’s first space observatory to study the Sun, ISRO said. The spacecraft is planned to orbit around Lagrange Point 1 (L1), about 1.5 million km from Earth, in the Sun-Earth system.
According to ISRO, the mission will be launched by PSLV rocket from Sathish Dhawan Space Center SHAR (SDSC SHAR) at Sriharikota. While the spacecraft will initially be placed in low Earth orbit. Further, as the orbit becomes more elliptical, the spacecraft will then be launched towards the L1 point using the on-board thruster.
ISRO said that as the spacecraft moves towards L1, it will leave Earth’s gravitational sphere of influence (SOI), after which the cruise phase will begin. The spacecraft will then be injected into a huge orbit around L1.
The total travel time from launch to L1 point would take approximately four months for Aditya-L1.
According to ISRO, the satellite, which will be positioned around L1, will have the considerable advantage of having a constant view of the Sun, unobstructed by any obscurations or eclipses.
The mission will also provide the added benefit of observing solar activity and tracking its effect on space weather in real time.
The spacecraft will carry seven payloads to observe the Sun’s photosphere, chromosphere and uppermost layers (the corona) using electromagnetic and particle and magnetic field detectors.
It will use the special L1 observation point to directly observe the Sun with four payloads, and three payloads will study particles and fields at the L1 point, “providing important scientific studies of the propagation of the solar dynamical effect in the interplanetary environment,” according to the ISRO website.
The Aditya L1 payload is expected to yield crucial information related to coronal heating issues, coronal mass ejection, pre-flare and eruption activities and their characteristics, space weather dynamics, particle and field propagation, among others.
What are the main objectives of the mission?
The mission will focus on studying the dynamics of the solar upper atmosphere (chromosphere and corona). He will also study chromospheric and coronal heating, physics of partially ionized plasma, initiation of coronal mass ejections and eruptions.
The mission will observe the particle and plasma environment, which will provide data to study the dynamics of particles from the Sun. The mission will also focus on understanding the physics of the solar corona and its heating mechanism.
It dives deeper into the temperature, velocity and density of the coronal and coronal loop plasmas. It will also examine the evolution, dynamics and origins of CME.
The mission will identify the chronology of processes that take place in the Sun’s multiple layers the chromosphere, core, and extended corona—that often ultimately lead to solar flares.
In the solar corona, the goal of the mission is to find out the topology of the magnetic field and measure it. It will also identify what drives space weather, along with the origin, composition and dynamics of the solar wind.
According to ISRO, “The Aditya-L1 instruments are tuned to observe the solar atmosphere, especially the chromosphere and corona. In-situ instruments will observe the local environment at L1. There are a total of seven payloads on board, four of which perform remote sensing of the Sun and three of which perform in-situ observations.
What are the seven payloads?
The Aditya-L1 mission will carry seven science payloads to “conduct a systematic study of the Sun”.
The load capacities are:
The Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) will study the corona, imaging and spectroscopy, and coronal mass ejections.
The Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) will focus on photosphere and chromosphere imaging—narrow and broadband. It will also measure changes in solar radiation. t
The Solar Low-Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS) and the High-Energy Orbital X-ray Spectrometer L1 (HEL1OS) will study soft and hard X-ray flares from the Sun over a wide range of X-ray energies.
Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX) and Plasma Analyzer Package For Aditya (PAPA) will analyze electrons and protons in the solar wind or particles. He will also study energetic ions. Advanced high-resolution three-axis digital magnetometers will study the interplanetary magnetic field at L1.