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ADITYA L-1 MISSION

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ADITYA L-1 MISSION

WHY IN NEWS ?

  • The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced that the Aditya-L1 mission,  the first space-based Indian observatory to study the Sun, will be launched on September 2 from Sriharikota.

ABOUT ADITYA L-1:

  • Aditya L1 shall be the first space based Indian mission to study the Sun.
  • The spacecraft shall be placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system, which is about 1.5 million km from the Earth.
  • A satellite placed in the halo orbit around the L1 point has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation/eclipses.

  • This will provide a greater advantage of observing the solar activities and its effect on space weather in real time.
  • The spacecraft carries seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere and the outermost layers of the Sun (the corona) using electromagnetic and particle and magnetic field detectors.
  • Using the special vantage point L1, four payloads directly view the Sun and the remaining three payloads carry out in-situ studies of particles and fields at the Lagrange point L1, thus providing important scientific studies of the propagatory effect of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium.

IMPORTANCE OF SUN MISSIONS:

  • The sun is the closest star to the earth at 150 million km away.
  • This hot glowing mass of hydrogen and helium gases is the source of energy for the earth.
  • The sun also frequently registers several eruptive phenomena such as coronal mass ejections.
  • These, along with solar winds, can cause disturbances to the earth’s magnetic field.
  • Changes in space weather can impact our space assets such as satellites.
  • An early warning of such disturbances helps to take preventive action.
  • The sun is also a natural laboratory to study extreme thermal and magnetic phenomena which cannot be replicated on the earth.
  • The solar weather and environment affect the weather of the entire system.
  • Variations in this weather can change the orbits of satellites or shorten their lives, interfere with or damage onboard electronics, and cause power blackouts and other disturbances on Earth.
  • Knowledge of solar events is key to understanding space weather.

ABOUT PAYLOADS :

  • All seven payloads have been built indigenously.
  • The visible emission line coronagraph will study the sun’s corona and the dynamics of coronal mass ejections.
  • An ultraviolet imaging telescope will study the sun’s photosphere and chromosphere.
  • A solar wind particle analyser and plasma analyser will study X-ray flares.
  • High- and low-energy X-ray spectrometers will observe the sun.
  • The spacecraft also has a high resolution digital magnetometer to study the interplanetary magnetic field at Lagrange point L1.

MISSION OBJECTIVES:

The major science objectives of Aditya-L1 mission are:

  • Study of Solar upper atmospheric (chromosphere and corona) dynamics.
  • Study of chromospheric and coronal heating, physics of the partially ionized plasma, initiation of the coronal mass ejections, and flares
  • Observe the in-situ particle and plasma environment providing data for the study of particle dynamics from the Sun.
  • Physics of solar corona and its heating mechanism.
  • Diagnostics of the coronal and coronal loops plasma: Temperature, velocity and density.
  • Development, dynamics and origin of CMEs.
  • Identify the sequence of processes that occur at multiple layers (chromosphere, base and extended corona) which eventually leads to solar eruptive events.
  • Magnetic field topology and magnetic field measurements in the solar corona .
  • Drivers for space weather (origin, composition and dynamics of solar wind .

OTHER GLOBAL SUN MISSIONS:

  • Space powers have been probing the sun since the 1960s.
  • The Pioneer (NASA), Helios (NASA and German Aerospace Centre), Ulysses (NASA and European Space Agency), Stereo (NASA) and Solar orbiters (ESA) have been studying the space weather, coronal mass ejections, solar winds, magnetic field and cosmic rays.
  • In 2018, NASA launched Parker, a solar probe.
  • In December 2021, it flew through the sun’s corona, becoming the first space- craft to touch the sun.
  • It will study coronal activity in close range.

SYLLABUS: MAINS, GS-3, SPACE TECHNOLOGY

SOURCE: ISRO WEBSITE AND MINT

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