India successfully launched its first solar mission, Aditya-L1, at 11:50 UTC on September 2, 2023, from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on Sriharikota Island. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C57) carried the Aditya-L1 probe into an orbit toward the Lagrange Point L1, which is situated between Earth and the Sun.
Seven scientific instruments to unlock the secrets of the Sun
Aditya-L1’s payload consists of seven scientific instruments designed to study the Sun from a unique perspective. These instruments were developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in collaboration with Indian academic institutions.
The primary instrument on Aditya-L1 is the Visible Imaging Spectrograph (VIS), which will study the solar atmosphere in visible light. The VIS is capable of detecting emission lines of hydrogen, helium, and other elements. These emission lines can be used to study the composition, temperature, and density of the solar atmosphere.
Another important instrument is the Coronal Mass Ejection Imager (CMEI), which will study coronal mass ejections (CMEs). CMEs are explosive events that release large amounts of material from the solar corona and can cause disturbances in the Earth’s atmosphere, such as geomagnetic storms.
Aditya-L1 also carries a magnetometer, which will measure the solar magnetic field. The magnetometer will be used to study the structure and evolution of the solar magnetic field.
Other instruments aboard include:
- A photometer, which will measure the brightness of the Sun.
- A polarimeter, which will measure the polarization of solar light.
- A radiometer, which will measure the solar radio emission.
- A UV spectrometer, which will study the solar atmosphere in ultraviolet light.
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C57)
The rocket that launched Aditya-L1 is the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C57). The PSLV is a four-stage rocket developed by ISRO and is the most commonly used rocket for launching satellites into low Earth orbit.
The PSLV-C57 was launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on Sriharikota Island, India. The launch was successful at 11:50 UTC on September 2, 2023.
Aditya-L1: a success story for India and the scientific community
India successfully launched its first solar mission, Aditya-L1, at 11:50 UTC on September 2, 2023, from the Satish Dhawan Space Center on Sriharikota Island. The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C57) carried the Aditya-L1 probe into orbit around the Lagrange Point L1, situated between Earth and the Sun.
Aditya L1 mission is a textbook launch by India's most trusted launch vehicle 'PSLV'.— Indian Tech & Infra (@IndianTechGuide) September 2, 2023
56 out of 59 successful launches.
A 95% Success rate 🚀 pic.twitter.com/UTPSEr1r2y
The Lagrange Point L1 is a gravitational equilibrium point where the gravitational forces of Earth and the Sun balance each other. This means that the probe will not be influenced by the gravity of either Earth or the Sun, allowing it to study the Sun from a unique perspective.
🚨 India's mission to study Sun 'Aditya L1' will take four months to reach its destination L1 point from time of launch on Sep 2. pic.twitter.com/hdEIayMlWC— Indian Tech & Infra (@IndianTechGuide) August 29, 2023
The data collected by Aditya-L1 will help us better understand the nature of the solar corona, the structure and dynamics of the solar wind, the processes associated with coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that can cause disturbances in Earth’s atmosphere, as well as the impact of the Sun on Earth’s climate. This will enhance our understanding of the Sun’s evolution and its influence on our solar system.
The success of the launch is a significant milestone for India and the international scientific community. This mission will provide unique data about the Sun, which will contribute to enhancing our understanding of this star and its impact on our solar system.