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India’s space observatory is getting closer to its target: the Sun

Aditya-L1the solar observatory built by Indian scientists, managed to escape the Earth’s zone of influence and head towards its destination near the Sun. To achieve this, it traveled approximately 920 thousand kilometers in one month.

The gravitational sphere of influence is the region surrounding a planet where its attractive force is dominant compared to a neighboring body of similar proportions. The limit of this gravitational influence is not strictly defined and depends mainly on the mass and relative velocity of the object trying to enter or exit it. For Aditya-L1 to escape from Earth, he had to perform four space maneuvers and changing circuits on the same number of occasions.

The Indian Space Research Agency (ISRO) probe has about 580 thousand kilometers to go before they dedicate themselves to closely studying the behavior of the Sun. Its destination is Lagrange point 1 between the Earth and its star, where the gravitational forces of both bodies balance each other. Once it reaches this point, Aditya-L1 will orbit the Sun at the same speed as Earth while transmitting information directly to ISRO. At that time, the Indian Observatory It will be at a distance four times greater than the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

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Aditya-L1 will observe the dynamics of the Sun with seven key instruments

Aditya-L1 has seven observing instruments, including spectroscopic observing systems for the solar corona, an ultraviolet imaging telescope, an X-ray spectrometer and a pair of particle analyzers to verify the solar wind.

According to ISRO, its solar observatory has the following objectives:

  • Study of the dynamics of the sun’s upper atmosphere (chromosphere and corona).
  • Investigation of chromospheric and coronal heating, the physics of partially ionized plasma, the onset of coronal mass ejections and solar flares.
  • Observation of the plasma and particle environment on page which provides data for studying the dynamics of the Sun’s particles.
  • Study of the physics of the solar corona and its heating mechanism.
  • Diagnosis of coronal plasma and coronal loops: temperature, velocity and density.
  • Evolution, dynamics and origin of coronal mass ejections
  • Identification of the sequence of processes occurring in the multiple layers (chromosphere, base and extended corona) leading to solar flares.
  • Magnetic field topology and magnetic field measurements in the solar corona.
  • Drivers of space weather (origin, composition and dynamics of the solar wind).

This is not the first time that ISRO has succeeded in sending probes outside the Earth’s sphere of influence. In 2013, Indian scientists succeeded in sending a probe to Mars. The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) took 15 months to complete and arrived at the planet aboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket. India became the first country to send a probe to the red planet in the first attempt. Arriving on Mars is an achievement of ISRO, which it also shares with the US, Russia, China, the United Arab Emirates and the European Union.

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