Beyond 50000 km from Earth, ISRO's Aditya-L1 Mission Begins Data Collection

ISRO's Aditya-L1 spacecraft begins its scientific quest, collecting data to unravel the mysteries of the Sun and space weather phenomena.

Updated Sep 18, 2023 | 02:03 PM IST

ISRO's Aditya-L1 Mission: A Groundbreaking Step in Solar and Space Weather Research

ISRO's Aditya-L1 Mission: A Groundbreaking Step in Solar and Space Weather Research

  • ISRO's Aditya-L1 mission kicks off its scientific data collection phase, setting a new milestone in solar research.
  • The mission’s STEPS instrument activated beyond 50,000 km from Earth, collecting data on energetic particles and fields.
  • Seven indigenously developed payloads on Aditya-L1 aim to study the Sun and the dynamics of space weather.
The Aditya-L1 mission, spearheaded by ISRO, has successfully commenced its data collection phase, marking a pivotal moment in the study of our Sun and space weather dynamics.

The Journey to the L1 Point

Launched on September 2, Aditya-L1 has already completed four Earth-bound maneuvers. The spacecraft is en route to the L1 point, a stable orbit between the Sun and Earth, which offers an unparalleled vantage point for solar observations.

The Scientific Payloads

Aditya-L1 is equipped with seven indigenously developed scientific instruments, which are categorized into two primary objectives:
  • Solar Observation: Four payloads will focus on studying various layers of the Sun, including the photosphere, chromosphere, and corona.
  • In-Situ Studies: The remaining three payloads will perform localized observations of particles and fields at the L1 point.

STEPS: The Eye of the Mission

One of the mission's most remarkable instruments is the Supra Thermal & Energetic Particle Spectrometer (STEPS). Part of the Aditya Solar Wind Particle EXperiment (ASPEX) payload, STEPS comprises six sensors that specialize in:
  • Measuring ions ranging from 20 keV/nucleon to 5 MeV/nucleon
  • Observing electrons exceeding 1 MeV
Activated at a distance greater than 50,000 km from Earth, STEPS provides valuable insights into the behavior of particles surrounding our planet, especially in the presence of Earth’s magnetic field.

Potential Implications

Data collected from STEPS and other instruments will deepen our understanding of solar and space weather phenomena. The mission is poised to shed light on:
  • Coronal mass ejections
  • Pre-flare and flare activities
  • Solar wind origin and behavior

The Team Behind the Mission

STEPS was developed by the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) with support from the Space Application Centre (SAC) in Ahmedabad, highlighting India's collaborative spirit in space science.

Future Prospects

As Aditya-L1 progresses toward the Sun-Earth L1 point, the data collection phase will continue, promising to unravel many of the space's enigmatic phenomena.
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