Today marks a significant milestone for India’s space exploration as Aditya-L1, the nation’s first mission dedicated to studying the sun, is poised to enter its final orbit. This event occurs more than four months after the satellite was launched from ISRO’s Sriharikota site.
The Aditya-L1 satellite, which cost ₹400 crore to build, weighs nearly 1,500 kg. Its primary role is to serve as India’s first space-based observatory for sun observation, positioned about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.
At around 4 pm today, the satellite will settle into a special orbit around a point in space called Lagrange point 1 (L1). This location is strategically chosen because it offers a clear, uninterrupted view of the Sun, crucial for continuous observation. Avoiding the shadows cast by Earth and the Moon, this position is perfect for studying the Sun without any eclipse interruptions.
An ISRO official explained the importance of today’s maneuver. Without it, the satellite might continue drifting, possibly heading towards the Sun. This precise orbit placement ensures Aditya-L1 stays fixed in its path to observe the Sun.
Aditya-L1’s mission is vital for monitoring space weather, particularly solar storms and flares that can disrupt satellites and other Earth-based technologies. These solar events are giant magnetic explosions on the Sun affecting the entire solar system.
Read This : India Logs 774 Fresh Covid Cases in Last 24 Hrs
ISRO Chairman S Somanath highlighted the satellite’s ability to provide advanced warnings of these solar activities. This early alert system can protect satellites and terrestrial power and communication networks by enabling them to switch to safe modes during solar storms.
India has over ₹50,000 crore worth of space assets, including more than 50 operational satellites. Aditya-L1 will play a key role in safeguarding these assets from the Sun’s harmful effects.
Equipped with seven scientific instruments, the satellite will conduct experiments to understand the Sun’s different layers – the photosphere, chromosphere, and corona. It will use detectors for electromagnetic, particle, and magnetic field studies.
The mission aims to gather new insights into solar weather, particularly activities leading to solar flares. These findings will contribute significantly to our understanding of space weather dynamics.
Aditya-L1’s scientific goals include studying the Sun’s upper atmosphere, understanding the heating of the chromosphere and corona, and observing particle and plasma dynamics. It will also investigate the origins, composition, and behavior of solar winds, which are crucial drivers of space weather.
Aditya-L1’s mission is a groundbreaking step in space science, enhancing our understanding of the Sun and protecting Earth’s space-based and ground technologies from solar disturbances.