New Delhi: India’s pioneering space-based Sun mission, Aditya-L1, has captured captivating images of Earth and the Moon while en route to its intended destination, the Lagrangian point (L1), situated 1.5 million km from Earth.
Stuuning Selfie & Celestial Images
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) took to Twitter to share these remarkable visuals, which include a selfie snapped by Aditya-L1 during its journey.
Successful Orbital Maneuvers
Aditya-L1 has already accomplished two earth-bound orbital manoeuvres, with two more planned before entering the transfer orbit towards Lagrange point L1. The spacecraft is anticipated to reach its designated orbit at L1 after approximately 127 days.
Scheduled for September 10, 2023, around 02:30 Hrs. IST, the next manoeuvre (EBN#3) marks another milestone in the mission.
Aditya-L1’s Solar Observations
Aditya-L1 serves as India’s inaugural space-based observatory for studying the Sun. Positioned in a halo orbit around the Sun-Earth Lagrangian point (L1), approximately 1.5 million km from Earth, this mission is poised to revolutionize solar observation.
The spacecraft is equipped with seven scientific payloads, developed indigenously by ISRO and national research laboratories, including the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) in Bengaluru and the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) in Pune. These payloads are instrumental in studying the photosphere, chromosphere, and the Sun’s outermost layers (the corona), utilizing electromagnetic particle and magnetic field detectors.
The Unique Advantage of L1
Aditya-L1’s placement at L1 offers a distinct advantage, enabling continuous monitoring of the Sun without experiencing occultation or eclipses. This unobstructed view is pivotal in comprehending solar activities and their real-time impact on space weather.
Unlocking Solar Mysteries
The mission is poised to provide crucial insights into various solar phenomena, including coronal heating, coronal mass ejections, pre-flare and flare activities, space weather dynamics, and particle and field propagation. These findings are poised to advance our understanding of the Sun’s influence on space.
The Significance of Lagrange Points
Lagrange points, named after Italian-French mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange, offer unique regions in space where objects experience reduced fuel consumption and can stably orbit due to the gravitational balance between the Earth and the Sun. Aditya-L1’s position at L1 enhances its solar observations.
Aditya-L1’s journey marks a significant stride in India’s space exploration endeavours, promising invaluable insights into our nearest star, the Sun.