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Aditya-L1 Mission

Why is it in the news?

  • Recently, ISRO executed a critical manoeuvre to position Aditya-L1 into the L1 orbit.

About Aditya-L1 Mission

  • Aditya-L1 is a pioneering space-based observatory developed by ISRO specifically designed to study the Sun.
  • Unlike traditional missions, Aditya-L1 doesn’t physically approach the Sun. Instead, it establishes a space observatory at the Lagrange point 1 (L1), about 1.5 million km away from Earth, allowing continuous observation of the Sun even during eclipses.
  • Aditya-L1 orbits the L1 point, a position where the gravitational forces of the Earth and the Sun are balanced, providing a unique vantage point for solar observation.
  • The mission is anticipated to have a lifespan of five years.
  • It aims to study phenomena such as coronal heating, coronal mass ejection, and pre-flare and flare activities.
  • Its payloads are designed to gather crucial information on the dynamics of space weather and the propagation of particles and fields in the solar environment.

Payloads (Instruments):

  • Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC): Focuses on studying the Sun’s Corona; Conducts imaging and spectroscopy; and Observes Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs).
  • Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT): Concentrates on imaging the Photosphere and Chromosphere; Provides narrow and broadband imaging; and Measures variations in solar irradiance.
  • Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS): Investigates soft X-ray flares emitted by the Sun; Operates across a wide X-ray energy range.
  • High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS): Studies hard X-ray flares from the Sun; Operates over a broad X-ray energy spectrum.
  • Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX): Analyses electrons and protons in the Solar wind; Studies energetic ions in the Sun’s vicinity.
  • Plasma Analyser Package For Aditya (PAPA): Examines electrons and protons in the Solar wind; Investigates energetic ions.
  • Advanced Tri-axial High Resolution Digital Magnetometers: Focuses on studying the interplanetary magnetic field at the L1 point;

About Lagrange Point

  • Lagrange points are locations in space where gravitational forces of two large masses, like the Earth and the Sun, precisely balance the centripetal force required for a smaller object to orbit with them.
  • Named in honour of Italian-French mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange.
  • Comprising three unstable points (L1, L2, L3) and two stable points (L4, L5).
  • Spacecraft positioned at Lagrange points reduce fuel consumption needed to remain in a stable position.
  • L1 offers an uninterrupted view of the Sun, making it ideal for solar observation.
  • Notable operational spacecraft at L1 include WIND, Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE), and Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR).

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