Bengaluru: After the success of the moon landing project, ISRO is now preparing to launch a solar mission in a week, likely on September 2, to study the sun.
The Aditya-L1 spacecraft is designed to provide remote observations of the solar corona and in situ observations of the solar wind at L1 (the Lagrangian point between the Sun and the Earth), which is about 1.5 million km from Earth.
This will be India’s first dedicated sun-observing space mission launched by the Bengaluru-based space agency.
The Aditya-L1 mission, which aims to study the Sun from orbit around L1, will carry seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere and the Sun’s outermost layers, the corona, at different wavelengths.
An ISRO official said Aditya-L1 is an entirely local effort with the participation of national institutions.
The Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) is the lead institute for developing the visible emission line coronagraph payload. While the Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune, developed a solar ultraviolet imaging payload for the mission.
Aditya-L1 can provide observations of the halo, of the solar chromosphere using ultraviolet payloads and of flares using X-ray payloads. Particle detectors and a magnetometer payload can provide information on the charged particles and magnetic field that reach the halo orbit around L1.
The satellite, which was produced at the Aur Rao Satellite Center here, arrived at ISRO’s Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh, two weeks ago.
“The launch is likely to take place on September 2,” an ISRO official said.
The spacecraft is to be placed in a halo orbit around the L1 of the Sun-Earth system.
ISRO indicated that the satellite located in the orbit of the halo around point L1 has the great advantage of watching the sun continuously without any occultation or eclipse.
“This will provide an even greater advantage for monitoring solar activities and their impact on space weather in real time,” she said.
Using the L1 special observation point, four payloads look directly at the Sun, and the remaining three payloads perform in situ studies of particles and fields at L1, providing important scientific studies on the diffusive influence of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium.
“The Aditya L1 payload suits are expected to provide the most critical information for understanding the problem of coronal heating, coronal mass emission, preflare and flare activities and their properties, space weather dynamics, particle scattering and fields etc,” ISRO said.
The main science objectives of the Aditya-L1 mission are: to study the dynamics of the solar upper atmosphere (chromosphere and corona); studying coronal and chromosphere heating, partially ionized plasma physics, coronal mass ejection initiation, and flares; Observing the particle and plasma environment in situ and providing data to study particle dynamics from the Sun.
It also includes the physics of the solar corona and its heating mechanism; Diagnosis of coronal plasma and coronal loops: temperature, velocity, and density; The development, dynamics and origin of continuing medical education; Determine the sequence of processes occurring in multiple layers (chromosphere, basal corona, and extended corona) that ultimately lead to solar flare events; magnetic field topology and magnetic field measurements in the solar corona; Space weather drivers (origin, composition, and dynamics of the solar wind).
The Aditya-L1 instruments are set to observe the solar atmosphere, especially the chromosphere and corona. On-site devices will monitor the local environment at L1.