Aditya -L1: India to extend its reach to Sun

Dec. 13, 2017, 7:32 a.m. By: Pranjal

ISRO

Indian space research organization is breaking milestones after one other. They successfully launched the satellite to the moon which was soon followed by launching more than 103 satellites together. Now, ISRO has decided to move one step further and extend its reach to the sun.

Aditya-L1 is a spacecraft designed to study different behaviors or Sun. We all know that Sun is the probably the most important star in our galaxy system and it is important to know few things about it. Scientists also believe that a detailed study of Sun could help solve many mysteries of our universe and could open doors to many new possibilities of extending our life system to other planets.

The project was conceptualized by the Advisory Committee for Space Research, back in January 2008. The satellite will be built in collaboration between Indian Space Research Organisation and various Indian research organizations and will be launched by ISRO around 2020. Aditya-L1 will be India’s first approach to study Sun.

Aditya-L1 will also be India’s first mission to be placed at the Lagrangian point. Well, the Lagrangian point is a place far away from the Earth from where continuous solar observations are possible. Only two space organization namely, NASA and ESA have successfully placed satellites at the L1 point as of date.

Aditya L-1 was initially designed with a motive of studying the million-degree solar outer atmosphere known as the solar corona. The proposal was passed by the Indian government in 2008. But, since then the scope of this mission has been enhanced. Now, it is planned to be a comprehensive solar and space environment observatory to be placed at the Lagrangian point L1. The satellite will be placed in the halo orbit around the Lagrangian point which is approx. 1.5 million Km from Earth. The satellite will weight around 1500Kg and will carry a total of seven payloads with diverse objectives. The seven payloads will be:

1. Magnetometer: This will measure the magnitude and nature of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field.

2. Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope: This will resolve Solar Photosphere and Chromosphere in near Ultraviolet range and will measure solar irradiance variation.

3. Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment: This will help in the study of variation of solar wind properties as well as its distribution and spectral characteristics.

Sun Core

4. High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer: It will in observing the dynamic events in the solar corona and will provide an estimate of the energy used in accelerating particles during eruptive events.

5. Visible Emission Line Coronagraph: This will help to study the parameters of solar corona and dynamics and origin of Coronal Mass Ejections.

6. Plasma Analyser Package: This will help in analyzing the variation of solar wind properties.

7. Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer: This will monitor X-ray flares for studying the heating mechanism of the solar corona.

Lagrangian point L1

Corona which is the outer layer of the sun is at a temperature close to 6000 K. Scientists are still looking for an answer about how does Corona gets heated so much despite being thousands of kilometer above the sun’s photosphere.

Aditya L-1 will provide the scientist an opportunity to understand the dynamical processes of the sun and address some of the outstanding problems in solar physics.