Aditya-L1 mission is a spacecraft mission going to be launched by Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO). IIA, IUCAA and IISER has collaborated for making this mission possible. ISRO has planned to launch it by Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) XL . It is Likely to launch in December 2021 or January 2022. It will launch from Satish Dhawan Space Center located at Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh. The purpose of this mission is to study the sun’s Corona, sun’s Photosphere, chromosphere, solar emission, solar winds and flares and CMEs ( coronal mass ejection).
Origin of the mission
In 2008, ISRO planned to launch a spacecraft to explore the surface of the sun. It was a 400 KG satellite with one payload ‘the visible emission line chronograph’(VELC) to launch in 800 kilometre Low Earth orbit. Stepping ahead, ISRO decided to launch a spacecraft to study the sun. ISRO further gives the name ‘Aditya 1’. Rather, Aditya-1 designed to study only the outer surface of the sun. For this project, A budget of 3 crores sanctions in the year 2016-17.
L-1 or Lagrange point is a point on the halo Orbit ( periodic, three-dimensional orbit) of the sun- earth system. Lagrange point 1 provides Clear View to the sun from the earth without any interruption from occultation or eclipse. L-1 point is about 1.5 million kilometre from Earth. At L-1 point gravitational force and centripetal force of two large bodies balance each other. Hence, equilibrium is created around the L-1 point. This equilibrium helps the spacecraft to reduce fuel emission. There are five points in the hola Orbit I.e.,L1 to L5. The first three Lagrange points were discovered by Leonhard Euler. The rest are discovered by Joseph Louis Lagrange after a few years. International Sun-Earth Explorer was the first mission launched on L-1 point. It was for weather forecasting about storms.
About Aditya L1 mission
Aditya L1 mission is second astronomy mission of ISRO. Astrosat is the first mission . Astrosat was launched in 2015 to study celestial sources. Thus, Aditya 1 Mission was advanced to Aditya L1. This spacecraft will set on L1 point on halo Orbit. As, Aditya-l1 will set on L1 orbit. Thus, Aditya-1 renames as Aditya-L1. Aditya L1 will observe the photosphere, chromosphere and corona of the sun. Corona is the outer surface of the sun or any star. It is the aura of plasma surrounding from outside. Various instruments will attach to in order to provide multiple dimensional observation.
Aditya L1 consisted of only one payload, meant to provide observation of only the sun’s corona. Rather, Aditya L1 contains seven payloads in order to get multi-dimensional observation of the sun. In addition to this, Aditya also has soft and hard x-Ray, UV, broadband filter, magnetometer. Magnetometer observes the magnetic field of any object.
Aditya L1 mission will prove to be a milestone in the field of study of the sun. Space science has many unanswered questions. As, how the sun’s Corona has a higher temperature than the surface of the sun. How the sun’s storms affect the atmosphere of other planets. These are some questions which are goint
Aditya L1 mission. It will provide close observation of the sun’s surface providing dynamic understanding of the sun. However, Aditya L1 is not going much closer to the sun. Distance between Earth and Sun is itself 15 crore kms which is much farther than the moon. This is a huge challenge in itself. Although, scientists have found ways to face this challenge. Still, the sun’s temperature is another milestone to tackle with. However, Aditya not placed near the sun. So, it is not going to affect it remarkably.
Payloads used in Aditya L1
This mission has highly advanced payloads, or say, instruments to prove it a milestone. Following are those payloads:
➢ Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC): the purpose of VELC is to study the diagnostic parameters of the solar corona and origin of coronal mass ejection with the help of one visible and three infrared channels. It will also observe why the temperature of the sun’s Corona is different from the surface and how solar storms affect other planet weather. IIA will design it.
➢ Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT): The purpose of SUIT is to observe the sun surface and provide disk images of different layers of solar atmosphere between 200-400nm wavelength using 11 filters. A. N. Ramaprakash and Durgesh Tripathi will design this payload at the IUCAA.
➢ Aditya Solar wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX): ASPEX works to study the properties and variations of solar winds. PRL has responsibility to design it.
➢ Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA): SPL, VSSC has designed PAPA to study composition of solar winds.
➢ Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS): This device works to monitor the coronal heating mechanism . ISAC is designing it.
➢ High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS): ISAC and USO, PRL are collaborating with each other to design HEL1OS. It’s purpose is to monitor the events occurring on solar corona and calculate an estimate of the energy used to accelerate the solar energetic particles during the eruptive events.
➢ Magnetometer: magnetometer will measure the nature and magnitude of interplanetary magnetic fields.
All these are commenced to be designed in India. It works as a golden opportunity for the Indian Institutes to prove their competence. Besides, the self-dependency to accommodate such a huge mission is a great step promoting the ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ scheme.
Importance of the mission
There has been numerous research surrounding this topic. NASA on August 12,2018 launched solar probe named Parker Solar Probe to study the Solar winds acceleration and the solar corona. Then, what’s the necessity to launch the Aditya L1 mission?
Sun is the reason for the existence of life on the earth. It gives energy to the plants. Plants use this energy to make food. And, this food is consumed by animals and human beings. Without sun, Earth will convert into an ice ball as Sun gives heat and lighter to warm Earth, creating weather on the Earth. Perhaps, solar flares and other disturbances of the sun emits energetic atomic particles and X-rays. These particles and X-rays affect the radio waves travelling through Earth Ionosphere. It interferes and often causes blackouts on the earth. Sometimes, solar phenomenon disturbs the Earth’s magnetic field inducing High Voltage fluctuation. Also, variation in Solar weather can change the satellite Orbit or shorten their lives and even damage on board electronics.
In order to understand and control all these events, it becomes necessary to acquire advanced study of events occurring on surface of the sun and the solar corona. Also, Knowledge of space even plays an important role in understanding space weather. Therefore, Observation of the Sun becomes necessary in order to track Earth directed Storms and the impacts.
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