Aditya Mission or Aditya-L1 Mission | ISRO Mission to The Sun | Space

Aditya Mission or Aditya-L1 mission is planned to study Sun’s corona. It will collect data from the first Lagrangian point L1. The Lagrangian point L1 is 1.5 million kilometers from Earth at halo orbit (The gravitationally curved trajectory around Lagrangian points L1, L2, and L3).

It was the mid-noon of 22 July 2019, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) successfully launched its second lunar mission Chandrayaan 2 to the unexplored part of the moon. After this successful launch, team ISRO declared that they are going to launch the famous solar probe mission named Aditya-L1 mission, probably in the first half of 2020.

At this point, the gravitational force from Earth and Sun becomes equal and cancel each other, allowing the spacecraft to hover.

Picture source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_orbit#/media/File:Lagrange_points2.svg

The 1,500 kilograms satellite holds seven science payloads with various goals, which include, but not restricted to, coronal heating, solar wind performance, coronal magnetometry, origin and tracking of near-UV solar radiation, coupling of the solar photosphere to chromosphere and corona, unaltered plotlines of the space environment all across the Earth by analyzing active particle fluxes, as well as magnetic fields of solar wind and solar magnetic winds that adversely affect room and surface-based techniques.

“How the corona gets heated to such high temperatures is still an unanswered question in solar physics.” statement given by ISRO.

The Aditya Mission is aimed at studying the Sun. Recently, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe launch exulted its victory across the world for being the first human-made framework to achieve the nearest possible distance to the Sun, the Centre of our solar system.

A geographical mile away from the USA, NASA’s utmost competitor ISRO announced the launching of Aditya-L1 satellite by 2019-20 that made the day glittering for Indian scientists. This was the first time that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration spacecraft was named after a living person, honoring physicist, Eugene Parker, a retired professor at the University of Chicago.

Aditya Mission & Parker Solar Probe 

NASA’s Parker Solar Probe (previously Solar Probe) of $1.5 billion (INR 1047.07 Crore) was announced in the fiscal year 2009 and made a triumph on 12th August 2018. It will reach the outer corona of the Sun within 8.86 solar radii.
Aditya-1 or Aditya-L1 is the first Indian satellite to study the Sun, which is named after Sanskrit synonym for the word ‘Sun’ which was conceptualized by the Advisory Committee for Space Research in January 2008, with the budget of INR 3.00 Crore in the fiscal year 2016-17
The mission is aimed at studying the Sun from a halo orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrangian point 1, henceforth the name Aditya-L1. Lagrangian point 1 is about 1.5 million kilometers from the earth, which will carry seven payloads to read the sun as illustrated in the fig. below.

Aditya mission
Picture credit:-https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lagrange_points_simple.svg

What are the Lagrangian Points?

Lagrangian points are the positions in the orbits of two large celestial bodies, where the smaller object or satellite will be affected by the combined gravitational pull of the two large bodies (e.g. the Sun and the Earth). There are 5 such points out of which, only at L1, the gravitational attraction of one of the larger bodies is canceled by the other, almost intuitively.

 

Aditya mission

Picture credit-https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aditya-L1_spacecraft.jpg#mw-jump-to-license

Aditya-L1: Enhanced Aditya-1 Project | Aditya Mission

Previously, Aditya-1 was meant to observe the solar corona, an atmosphere of plasma that envelopes the Sun and other stars and is visible to the naked eye during a total solar eclipse. The Aditya Mission was conceived as a 400kg- class satellite carrying one payload, the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) to study the corona (Read more- Parts of the sun) which was scheduled to be launched in an 800-kilometer low- earth orbit.
Afterward, it was realized that the satellite could be launched into a halo orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrangian point 1 which will allow studying the Sun without any distortion i.e., even on the eclipse in a more comprehensive manner with many more payloads. Hence the name Aditya-L1 mission or Aditya Mission.

“With the inclusion of multiple payloads, this project also provides an opportunity to solar scientists from multiple institutions within the country to participate in space-based instrumentation and observations.

Thus, the enhanced Aditya-L1 project will enable a comprehensive understanding of the dynamical processes of the sun and address some of the outstanding problems in solar physics.” ISRO said on its website.

Payloads on the Aditya Mission, as explained by ISRO

  • Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC):

To study the parameters of the solar corona and dynamics and origin of Coronal Mass Ejections; magnetic field measurement of solar corona down to tens of Gauss.

  • Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT):

To image the Solar Photosphere and Chromosphere in near Ultraviolet (200-400 nm) and measure solar irradiance variations.

To understand the composition of solar wind and its energy distribution.

  • Magnetometer:

To measure the magnitude and nature of the Interplanetary Magnetic Field.

  • Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX):

To study the variation of solar wind properties as well as its distribution and spectral characteristics.

  • Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS):

To monitor the X-ray flares for studying the heating mechanism of the solar corona.

  • High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS):

Observing the dynamic events in the solar corona. It will also provide approximate energy used to accelerate the particles in the eruptive events. The expected launch of this embarking satellite is during 2019-20 by PSLV-XL from Sriharikota. The inclusion into an L1 point will take place in about 100 days from the launch. The Aditya Mission is expected to provide a comprehensive way to the science community in the entire world to deal with the Sun.


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