India on the way to the Sun

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Every weekend, an image that made the news or caught our attention. On September 2, an Indian PSLV-XL launcher sent the Aditya L1 coronagraph to our star.

Four months of cruising

India definitely has the wind in its sails: just nine days after gently depositing the lander near the south pole of the Moon Chandrayaan 3 – a world first –, the Indian Space Agency (Isro) sent its first probe to the Sun : Aditya L1 (Sun L1, in Sanskrit).

This is the first time that India is targeting Lagrange point L1 of the Earth-Sun system, located approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.

The launch took place on September 2 at 6:20 UTC from the base of Sriharikotaon the eastern coast of the country.

The next day, the first maneuver in Earth orbit placed the spacecraft in a provisional orbit of 245 km × 22,459 km.

The final objective should be reached in January 2024, after some 125 days of cruising.

The Aditya L1 mission is expected to last 5.2 years.

Seven payloads

From its halo orbit around this point, Aditya L1 will be able to continuously study, without occultation or eclipse, the activity of our star and its effects on terrestrial meteorology.

Thus, scientists hope to better understand issues of coronal heating and mass ejection, pre-eruption and eruption activity, space weather dynamics, particle and field propagation, and more.

The coronagraph is equipped with seven payloads to observe the photosphere, the chromosphere and the outermost layers of the Sun (the corona): electromagnetic detectors and detectors of particles and magnetic fields.

Four instruments will directly observe the Sun, and the other three will perform particle and field measurements at the L1 Lagrange point, providing data on the propagation effects of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium.

John Walker Avatar