Aditya L-1, a mission to study the Sun, was successfully launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on Saturday, September 2, 2023, at 11:50 AM from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. Just few days ago, ISRO became the first space agency to successfully soft-land a spacecraft close to the South Pole of the Moon.

Aditya L-1 got to space in what way? Where will you put it? What are the goals of this? What payload does it transport? Why is it necessary for ISRO to study the Sun? Here is all the information you require on ISRO’s Aditya L-1 mission.

Aditya L-1 got to space in what way?
One of ISRO’s most dependable and adaptable rockets, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), was used to launch Aditya L-1 into space in a “XL” configuration. The PSLV has previously been used by ISRO to launch successful missions including Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 and Mangalyaan in 2013. The rocket’s “XL” form, which has six extended strap-on boosters, is the most potent and can lift large payloads.

What is the purpose of Aditya L-1?
Aditya L-1 will first be positioned in the lower Earth orbit. Before being placed in a halo orbit around the first Lagrange point (L1) of the Earth-Sun system, it will first be moved multiple times around the Earth’s orbit. L1 is roughly 1.5 million kilometers from Earth’s surface. Aditya L-1, so named because it rises with the Sun, will take four months to get there. Seven payloads will be carried by the spacecraft to track solar activity for five years.

What goals does Aditya L-1 seek to achieve?
The mission’s main goal is to increase our understanding of the Sun, its radiations, heat, and particle flow, as well as how its magnetic field impacts humans. The mission will also focus on the following objectives, which are listed below:

Examine the chromosphere and corona, the Sun’s outermost layers of atmosphere.
Look at the massive solar outbursts of plasma and magnetic fields known as coronal mass ejections (CMEs).
Examine the heliospheric and coronal magnetic field drivers.
Be able to explain why the Sun’s flimsy corona is a scorching ten million degrees Celsius but its surface is just about 5,500 degrees Celsius.

Help researchers understand the mechanisms behind the acceleration of the solar wind, which results in a steady flow of particles from the Sun into space.

What is the weather in space?
The term “space weather” describes the shifting climatic conditions in space. It mostly responds to solar activity that occurs on the Sun’s surface. In other words, the nature of space habitats, including the Earth’s magnetosphere and the influx of charged particles, is impacted by solar events like coronal mass ejections and solar flares.

The characteristics of the Earth’s magnetosphere and its surrounding ionized particle environment change during such events. According to ISRO, a geomagnetic storm could occur on Earth as a result of the CME’s field interacting with the planet’s magnetosphere.

Which payload is it?
Aditya L-1’s mission requires it to transport a total of seven payloads. The Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), the main tool for researching the solar corona, is located at the bottom of the spacecraft. Images of the chromosphere and solar outer atmosphere will be taken by the Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT). It will make it easier to look at differences in radiation output.

In the interim, X-rays generated by solar flares will be analyzed by the Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS) and the High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS). To research solar winds and energetic ions, the Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX) and Plasma Analyzer Package for Aditya (PAPA) have been developed. You can read this explanation to learn more.

A Lagrange Point is what?
There are five Lagrange points, L1 to L5, that can be found between any two celestial bodies. In these configurations, the centripetal force experienced by a smaller object is balanced by the gravitational forces of the two massive entities. In simpler terms, the system’s smaller body and two larger bodies have energies that are equal.

Exploring the area around L1 is important since it offers a clear and uninterrupted view of the Sun. L3 is not in a good position for communication with Earth because it lies behind the Sun, while L2 is positioned behind Earth and blocks the view of the Sun. Although L4 and L5 are in stable locations, they are located squarely between the Sun and Earth, which is a great distance from Earth.

Since Earth’s atmosphere is unable to completely block out all wavelengths of radiation, viewing the Sun from space offers a complete picture. This makes it essential to observe the Sun’s activity outside of the Earth’s magnetosphere.

Therefore, ISRO’s Aditya L-1 mission seeks to clarify the many mysteries surrounding our Sun and advance our knowledge of how it affects space weather and Earth.

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