The Indian Space Research Organization (Isro), which landed the Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the Moon a few weeks ago, is now headed for the Sun. On Saturday, the ambitious Aditya L1 spacecraft was launched from Sriharikota’s Satish Dhawan Space Center.
The Aditya L1 mission was launched by India’s workhorse rocket, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, with the intention of placing it in an elliptical orbit above the planet before it starts its voyage to the Lagrangian Point 1, also known as L1, which is located approximately 15 lakh kilometers from the planet.
a trip that should take four months to accomplish.
The first space-based observatory-class solar mission from India, called Aditya-L1, is on track to make history as it seeks to understand the mysteries of the Sun, our nearest star.
The spacecraft is outfitted with seven cutting-edge payloads that were methodically developed to examine the Sun’s numerous aspects in order to achieve its scientific goals.
These payloads include a variety of particle and electromagnetic detectors that will study the Sun’s photosphere, chromosphere, and outermost layer, the mysterious corona.
While three of the payloads are designed to conduct in-situ particle and field investigations from the advantageous vantage point of L1, four of the payloads are designed to give direct, unobstructed observations of our Sun.
The Sun is the celestial body closest to our planet, giving it a special place in the universe. Its proximity allows for in-depth exploration, revealing insights not only about our own star but also shedding light on distant stars within our Milky Way and across galaxies.
The Sun is a dynamic celestial body whose effect goes much beyond its outward appearance. Large amounts of energy are released into the solar system during its eruptive occurrences. However, these solar flares have the potential to damage spacecraft and communication equipment if they are directed towards Earth. To reduce these disturbances, prompt warnings become essential.
Furthermore, exposure to solar explosions presents a major threat to astronauts traveling outside of Earth’s protective bubble. Extreme temperature and magnetic characteristics of the Sun act as a natural laboratory, providing priceless lessons that cannot be duplicated in controlled lab environments. It is not only necessary but also a scientific endeavor to study the Sun, our nearest star.
Lagrange Point 1, which is about 15 lakh kilometers from Earth, provides an unimpeded view of the Sun, providing Aditya L1 a constant opportunity to keep an eye out for its objective.
In the Sun-Earth system, it is a point of gravitational equilibrium. At this point, the centripetal force required for a spacecraft to maintain its position while in orbit is balanced by the gravitational pulls of the Sun and Earth. With little energy consumption, spacecraft can hover close to L1 thanks to this stable balance.
L1 is the best vantage point for keeping an eye on solar activity and the weather in space since it provides a constant view of the Sun. Early warnings of solar flares, coronal mass ejections (CMEs), and other solar occurrences that could affect Earth’s technology and the space environment can be obtained from solar missions at L1.
All eyes will be on Sriharikota as Isro begins revealing the mysteries of the sole star in our Solar System as India gets ready for the clock to strike zero.