New Delhi – The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has shared remarkable images taken by the Aditya-L1 spacecraft during its journey to the Sun-Earth L1 point. This marks India’s first solar mission, with Aditya-L1 successfully completing its second earth-bound manoeuvre on Tuesday.
ISRO posted a video on its social media platform, showing images of the Earth and the Moon taken by the onboard camera of Aditya-L1 on September 4. The solar mission was launched on September 2 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, carrying seven different payloads. Four of these payloads will observe sunlight, while the remaining three will measure in-situ parameters related to plasma and magnetic fields.
Aditya-L1 will be placed in a halo orbit around Lagrangian Point 1 (L1), situated 1.5 million km away from Earth in the direction of the Sun. This journey is expected to take approximately four months. The satellite will remain about 1.5 million km from Earth, constantly directed towards the Sun, allowing it to study the Sun’s outer atmosphere.
It’s crucial to note that Aditya-L1 will not land on the Sun or approach it closely. Its strategic location at L1 will provide uninterrupted observations of the Sun, enabling scientists to study solar activities and their effects on space weather in real-time. The spacecraft’s data will help identify the processes leading to solar eruptive events and enhance our understanding of space weather drivers.
Key objectives of India’s solar mission include studying the physics of the solar corona and its heating mechanism, solar wind acceleration, the dynamics of the solar atmosphere, solar wind distribution, temperature anisotropy, and the origin of Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) and flares, along with near-Earth space weather.
Aditya-L1 is dedicated to comprehensive solar research, aiming to uncover previously unknown facts about the Sun. The satellite will spend 16 days in Earth-bound orbits, undergoing five manoeuvres to gain the necessary speed for its journey. Subsequently, Aditya-L1 will undergo a trans-Lagrangian1 insertion manoeuvre, which will take 110 days as it travels approximately 15 million kilometres to reach the L1 point. Upon reaching L1, another manoeuvre will bind Aditya-L1 to its orbit around this balanced gravitational location between the Earth and the Sun.
This groundbreaking mission promises to provide valuable insights into the mysteries of the Sun and contribute to our understanding of space weather, impacting various aspects of life on Earth and beyond.