Aditya-L1 captures first glimpse of solar flares
- November 8, 2023
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Aditya-L1 captures first glimpse of solar flares
Subject: Science and Tech
Section: Space technology
The High Energy L1 Orbiting Xray Spectrometer (HEL1OS) payload, onboard the AdityaL1 spacecraft, has captured the first glimpse of solar flares.
About Aditya-L1 Mission
- Aditya-L1 is the first space based observatory class Indian solar mission to study the Sun from a substantial distance of 1.5 million kilometers. It will take approximately 125 days to reach the L1 point.
- Aditya-L1 is also ISRO’s second astronomy observatory-class mission after AstroSat (2015).
- The spacecraft is planned to be placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrangian point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system.
- The mission aims to provide valuable insights into the solar corona, photosphere, chromosphere, and solar wind.
- The primary objective of Aditya-L1 is to gain a deeper understanding of the Sun’s behavior, including its radiation, heat, particle flow, and magnetic fields, and how they impact Earth.
Payloads and its Objectives
- Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC)
- – Studies the solar corona.
- – Observe dynamics of Coronal Mass Ejections.
- Solar Ultra-violet Imaging Telescope (SUIT)
- – Captures images of the Solar Photosphere and Chromosphere in near Ultraviolet (UV).
- – Measures solar irradiance variations in near UV.
- Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS)
- – Functions as a Soft X-ray spectrometer.
- – Studies X-ray flares from the Sun across a wide X-ray energy range.
- High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS)
- – Acts as a Hard X-ray spectrometer.
- – Investigates X-ray flares from the Sun across a wide X-ray energy range.
- Aditya Solar Wind Particle Experiment (ASPEX)
- – Studies solar wind and energetic ions.
- – Analyze their energy distribution.
- Plasma Analyser Package for Aditya (PAPA)
- – Gather data on plasma characteristics and composition in the interplanetary space.
- – Provides insights into solar wind interactions with the environment.
- Advanced Tri-axial High-Resolution Digital Magnetometers (MAG)
- – To measure the low-intensity interplanetary magnetic field in space.
- – It has two sets of Magnetic Sensors:
What are Lagrange Points?
- Lagrange points are special positions in space where the gravitational forces of two large orbiting bodies, such as the Sun and the Earth, balance each other out.
- This means that a small object, such as a spacecraft, can stay at these points without using much fuel to maintain its orbit.
- There are five Lagrange Points, each with distinct characteristics. These points enable a small mass to orbit in a stable pattern amid two larger masses.
Lagrange Points in the Sun-Earth System:
- L1: L1 is considered the most significant of the Lagrange points for solar observations. A satellite placed in the halo orbit around the L1 has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation/ eclipses.It is currently home to the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Satellite (SOHO).
- L2: Positioned directly ‘behind’ Earth as viewed from the Sun, L2 is excellent for observing the larger Universe without Earth’s shadow interference.TheJames Webb Space Telescope orbits the Sun near L2.
- L3: Positioned behind the Sun, opposite Earth, and just beyond Earth’s orbit, it offers potential observations of the far side of the Sun.
- L4 and L5: Objects at L4 and L5 maintain stable positions, forming an equilateral triangle with the two larger bodies.They are often used for space observatories, such as those studying asteroids.
What is the Significance of Exploring the Sun?
- Understanding Our Solar System: The Sun is the center of our solar system, and its characteristics greatly influence the behavior of all other celestial bodies. Studying the Sun enhances our understanding of the dynamics of our solar neighborhood.
- Space Weather Prediction: Solar activities, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, can impact Earth’s space environment.
- Understanding these phenomena is crucial for predicting and mitigating potential disruptions to communication systems, navigation, and power grids.
- Advancing Solar Physics: Exploring the Sun’s complex behavior, including its magnetic fields, heating mechanisms, and plasma dynamics, contributes to advances in fundamental physics and astrophysics.
- Enhancing Energy Research: The Sun is a natural fusion reactor. Insights gained from studying its core and nuclear reactions can inform our pursuit of clean and sustainable fusion energy on Earth.
- Improving Satellite Operations: Solar radiation and solar wind affect the functioning of satellites and spacecraft. Understanding these solar interactions allows for better spacecraft design and operation.