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Aditya-L1 mission

Aditya-L1 mission

Why in news?

  • ARIES facility (Aryabhata Research Institute for Observational Sciences) will host the support centre for Aditya-L1 mission, which is due to be launched next year (2022).
  • ARIES is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology and is located in Nainital (Uttarakhand).

About Aditya-L1mission

  • Aditya-L1 Mission is India’s first solar mission planned by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Earlier the name was Aditya -1, which has been renamed as Aditya-L1 Mission.
  • It will be ISRO’s(Indian Space Research Organisation) second space-based astronomy mission after AstroSat, which was launched in 2015.
  • Aditya L1 will be launched using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) XL with 7 payloads (instruments) on board.

What is L1?

  • L1 refers to Lagrangian/Lagrange Point 1, one of five points in the orbital plane of the Earth-Sun system.
  • Lagrange Points, named after Italian-French mathematician Josephy-Louis Lagrange, are positions in space where the gravitational forces of a two-body system (like the Sun and the Earth) produce enhanced regions of attraction and repulsion.
  • These can be used by spacecraft to reduce fuel consumption needed to remain in position.
  • The L1 point is home to the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory Satellite (SOHO), an international collaboration project of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).
  • The L1 point is about 1.5 million km from Earth, or about one-hundredth of the way to the Sun.

Significance Of The Mission

  • The data from Aditya mission will be immensely helpful in discriminating between different models for the origin of solar storms and also for constraining how the storms evolve and what path they take through the interplanetary space from the Sun to the Earth.

Aditya-L1 Support Centre (ASC)

  • The main aim of this centre is to let every researcher in India perform analysis over scientific data obtained from Aditya-L1.
  • It will expand the visibility of Aditya-L1 beyond India at the international level.
  • It will host a compendium of the location and duration of different features on the solar surface such as coronal holes, prominences, flares, CMEs and sunspots.
  • Continuous monitoring of the location and duration of these features will help in monitoring the Earth directed CMEs and thereby, the space weather.                              Aditya-L1 mission

Challenges

  • The distance of the Sun from Earth ( approximately 15 crore kms on average, compared to the only 3.84 lakh kms to the Moon).This huge distance poses a scientific challenge.
  • Due to the risks involved, payloads in earlier ISRO missions have largely remained stationary in space; however, Aditya L1 will have some moving components which increases the risks of collision.
  • Other issues are the super hot temperatures and radiation in the solar atmosphere. However, Aditya L1 will stay much farther away, and the heat is not expected to be a major concern for the instruments on board.

Structure Of Sun

  • The Core– The central region where nuclear reactions consume hydrogen to form helium. These reactions release the energy that ultimately leaves the surface as visible light.
  • The Radiative Zone– It extends outward from the outer edge of the core to base of the convection zone, characterized by the method of energy transport – radiation.
  • The Convection Zone– The outer-most layer of the solar interior extending from a depth of about 200,000 km to the visible surface where its motion is seen as granules and super-granules.

Atmosphere of the sun

  • The Photosphere– The visible surface of the Sun
  • TheChromosphere – An irregular layer above the photosphere where the temperature rises from 6000°C to about 20,000°C
  • TransitionRegion – A thin and very irregular layer of the Sun’s atmosphere that separates the hot corona from the much cooler chromosphere
  • The Corona– The Sun’s outer atmosphere.
  • Beyond the corona is the Solar Wind, which is actually an outward flow of coronal gas.
  • The sun’s magnetic fields rise through the convection zone and erupt through the photosphere into the chromosphere and corona.
  • The eruptions lead to solar activity, which includes such phenomena as sunspots, flares, prominences, and Coronal Mass Ejections.                                                Aditya-L1 mission

Other Sun & Solar Missions

  • Apart from the Aditya L1 Mission by ISRO which is a sun-specific mission, there are many other countries which have launched similar programs. Given below are the names of few such missions:
  • NASA’s Parker Solar Probe
  • NASA’s Living With a Star
  • NASA’s Helios 2

 

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