September 29, 2023 8:44 AM

How Close Will Aditya-L1, India’s Ambitious Spacecraft, Come To The Sun?

How Close Will Aditya-L1, India's Ambitious Spacecraft, Come To The Sun?

The Aditya-L1 Mission will not “land” on the Sun (File)

New Delhi:

After successfully soft-landing on the Moon, ISRO now has its eyes set on the Sun. With the space agency set to launch its maiden solar mission Aditya-L1 in less than two hours, the most-asked question is whether the spacecraft will “land” on the Sun.

The Aditya-L1, India’s first space observatory for solar research, will be launched at 11:50 am from the country’s main spaceport in Andhra Pradesh’s Sriharikota.

The mission is designed to provide remote observations of the solar corona and in situ observations of the solar winds. The Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), the primary payload of Aditya L1 will send 1,440 images every day to the ground station for analysis after reaching the intended orbit.

But will Aditya-L1 “land” on the Sun?

The Aditya-L1 Mission will not “land” on the Sun as the blazing temperatures would make it an impossible task. It, however, will be placed in the orbit of the Sun-Earth system. The spacecraft will carry seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere, and the outermost layers of the Sun (the corona) using electromagnetic particle and magnetic field detectors.

So, where is Aditya-L1 headed for?

Aditya-L1 will be placed in a halo orbit around Lagrangian Point 1 (L1) – 1.5 million km from the Earth in the direction of the Sun. The satellite and the payloads will revolve around the Sun with the same relative position and will see the Sun continuously without any eclipses. This will help observe solar activities and their effect on space weather in real-time.

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