Indian space travel is witnessing another milestone. After India became the first country ever to launch a rocket at the moon’s south pole on August 23, 2023, the South Asian country is now also on its way to the sun. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)’s first solar mission launched on Saturday, September 2.
Aditya-L1 is on his way to the parking spot at the place
The Aditya-L1 space probe still has a long way to go. If all goes according to plan, the unmanned spacecraft will reach the L1 Lagrangian point within four months. This is a kind of space parking space. At the Lagrange point, the combined gravitational force of two large bodies, such as the Earth and the Sun, is equal to the means-seeking force of a third body, such as a space probe. This makes it possible to “stop” the probe at this location.
From this cosmic parking spot, Aditya-L1 can closely observe the Sun. The SOHO probe, a space probe of the European Space Agency and NASA, has also been located at this location in orbit around the sun since 1995.
What does India hope to learn about the sun?
Point L1 is located 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, but 150 million kilometers from the Sun. However we can learn a lot about the Sun from this distance. Aditya-L1 will study the atmosphere and surface of the star, among other things, in the hope of learning more about the formation of solar storms and plasma clouds.
In addition, ISRO hopes to find clues to answer an important question about the Sun: Why is the Sun’s atmosphere several times hotter than its surface? The corona, as the Sun’s atmosphere is also called, is about two hundred times warmer than the surface. This is remarkable, because the temperature usually drops the farther away from the heat source you move. Why is this theory not correct? After decades of research, there is still no clear answer to this question.
Finally, the final solar mission will collect data on space weather, such as the solar wind. This is a stream of electrically charged particles that the Sun emits. For example, the solar wind ensures that we can see and photograph the northern lights on Earth.
Willick Van Doorn studied journalism, traveled the world for a while, and eventually ended up working for the editors of Quest, National Geographic, and Runners’ World across the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. She is interested in the world, prefers to travel every month and always takes her running shoes with her.
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