India Sends Mission To Study The Sun

India’s first solar observation mission, Aditya-L1, is set to be launched by PSLV-C57 rocket from the spaceport on Sriharikota, an island off the southern state of Andhra Pradesh last week.

The development comes days after India became the first country to land a spacecraft close to the lunar south pole on August 23.

The sun is our nearest star and, therefore, can be studied in much more details compared to other stars.

Aditya-L1’s seven payloads are expected to provide crucial information to understand coronal heating, coronal mass ejection, pre-flare and flare activities and dynamics of space weather among other things.

The primary payload of Aditya-L1 will be sending 1,440 images per day to the ground station for analysis on reaching the intended orbit.


The spacecraft is scheduled to spend 125 days, travelling 1.5 million km to its destination. The solar mission will make India one of a small group of countries with probes studying the sun.

China has two such spacecraft orbiting Earth. Hinode, backed by space agencies from Japan, the UK, the US and Europe, is orbiting Earth and measures the magnetic fields of the sun.

Then there is the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory mission (SOHO), a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency. The US has other solar missions, including the Parker Solar Probe, which in 2021 became the first spacecraft to pass through the sun’s corona, or upper atmosphere.

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