About the Mission
- ISRO has successfully launched the country’s first space mission to study the sun, Aditya-L1.
- The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), in its 59th flight with the Aditya-L1 onboard, took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.
- The Aditya L1 spacecraft will stay in Earth’s orbit for sixteen days. After four months of journey, the satellite will be placed on the L1 point in the halo orbit around the Sun.
- Aditya-L1 has a mission life of five years.
What are the science objectives of Aditya-L1?
- The Aditya-L1 will observe the Sun from a close distance, and try to obtain information about its atmosphere and magnetic field. It is equipped with seven payloads.
- The main objective of the mission is to get a deeper understanding of the star closest to us, and how its radiation, heat, flow of particles, and magnetic fields affects us.
- The payloads on the mission will study chromosphere and corona. They will also study coronal mass ejection (CME). The magnetic field of the corona and the drivers of the space weather will also be studied.
- Importantly, it might provide clues to scientists about a long-standing mystery: why the corona of the Sun is a million degree C hot, when the temperature on the surface of the Sun is just about 5,700 degree C.
- It will also help scientists understand the reasons behind acceleration of particles on the Sun, which leads to solar winds.
Why study the Sun from space?
- The Sun is the nearest star to us and therefore can be studied in much greater detail than others. Studying the Sun can also help us understand more about other stars.
- While the Sun supports all life on Earth, it also has various explosive phenomena. These can damage our satellites and communication systems. Studying the Sun may help in providing early warnings for such events.
- The various thermal and magnetic phenomena on the Sun are of extreme nature. Thus, the Sun provides a good natural laboratory to understand them, which cannot be directly studied in the lab.
- It is important to study the Sun from space because the Earth’s atmosphere and the magnetic field act as protective shields that block out harmful radiations, such as UV light. This means studying the Sun from the Earth can’t provide a complete picture.
Why in News?
- India’s Solar Mission Aditya L1 has successfully escaped the sphere of Earth’s influence by travelling beyond a distance of 9.2 lakh kilometers from Earth and is now navigating its path towards the Lagrange point L1 that is 1.5 million kms from Earth.
- After 110 days, the spacecraft will be injected into an orbit around L1 through a maneuver from the Ground station.