Aditya-L1: India's First Solar Mission
​​India’s First Solar Mission
Writer: Tulika Prashant
Illustrator: Shrutika Gorule
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The surface of the Sun is 5,600 degrees Celsius! That is seven times the temperature of hot, flowing lava! But interestingly, the atmosphere of the Sun is even hotter. It is two million degrees Celsius! And we still do not know the reason behind this phenomenon. Scientists hope to find the answer and learn more interesting things through Aditya-L1, India’s first space-based Sun spacecraft.  

 Aditya-L1 is an observatory spacecraft; it will neither land on the Sun nor approach the Sun’s orbit. It has been designed and developed by scientists at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).  It was launched on 2 September, 2023, using a PSLV-XL rocket from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre-SHAR in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh.  

Aditya-L1 is on a mission to explore the Sun and its outer layer which is called the corona. It will explore the Sun from Lagrange L1 point which is about 1.5 million km away from Earth. This is around 1 per cent of the distance between Earth and the Sun.

Positioning the satellite at L1 Lagrange point has many advantages, some which are:

  • The point provides a continuous, uninterrupted view of the Sun. Even eclipses won’t affect the view.
  • The satellite can access solar radiation and magnetic storms before Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere influence them.
  • L1 is like a magic spot in space where the satellite can stay steady without wobbling around too much. This means it doesn’t need many adjustments, thus saving fuel.

Discover more about Lagrange points in the next article in this series.

Aditya-L1 reached its destination in January 2024, taking approximately four months to cover the entire distance. It will remain there for approximately 5.2 years. During this time, it will teach us lots of amazing things about the Sun and help scientists understand more about solar phenomena.

 

About the writer:  

Tulika is an alumna of NIT Jamshedpur and IIM Lucknow. She is the founder of Periodic Table Game Atomics and myschoolz.com—a platform that helps parents find the right school for their kids. Before venturing into entrepreneurship, she worked for Hewlett Packard, Alstom, and Vedanta. Her passion for writing for children stems from the belief that kids are incredibly curious and always ready to explore new things. Through her writing, she aims to foster a love for learning in the next generation.

Sources
Aditya-L1 Mission | ISRO
Aditya-L1 Mission Details | ISRO
Aditya-L1 | ISRO
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