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Business News/ Science / News/  Can ISRO's Aditya L1 mission face any danger after NASA's Parker Solar Probe faces most powerful CMEs? Details here
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Can ISRO's Aditya L1 mission face any danger after NASA's Parker Solar Probe faces most powerful CMEs? Details here

Aditya L1 Mission: India's Aditya-L1 spacecraft successfully performed a crucial manoeuvre and is now on its way to study the Sun. Meanwhile, NASA's Parker Solar Probe survived a powerful coronal mass ejection (CME), can India's maiden solar mission Aditya L1 face any such danger.

Aditya L1 Launch Live Updates: India launched historic launch of its maiden solar mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh.Premium
Aditya L1 Launch Live Updates: India launched historic launch of its maiden solar mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh.

Aditya L1 Mission: The Aditya-L1 spacecraft, India's first solar mission, lifted off successfully on 2 September, carrying seven different payloads designed for a detailed study of the Sun. As per the latest update from ISRO, Aditya-L1 performed the Trans-Lagrangean Point 1 Insertion (TL1I) manoeuvre successfully and the spacecraft was now in a trajectory that will take it to the Sun-Earth L1 point. Moreover, the space agency also informed that Aditya L1 has also commenced collecting scientific data.

Amidst this, NASA recently revealed that it's Parker Solar Probe faced one of the most powerful coronal mass ejections (CMEs) and also added that it gracefully through managed to ‘survive’ it.

Also Read: Aditya-L1 to study solar storms that destroyed Space X satellites. What is Elon Musk's Solar mission connection?

So what is coronal mass ejections (CMEs)?

NASA in it's blogpost states that CMEs are immense eruptions from the Sun’s outer atmosphere, or corona which help drive space weather, which can endanger satellites, disrupt communications and navigation technologies, and even knock out power grids on Earth.

In a blog post, NASA said, “On September 5, 2022, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe soared gracefully through one of the most powerful coronal mass ejections (CMEs) ever recorded – not only an impressive feat of engineering, but a huge boon for the scientific community."

In a post on X, it also shared a video and wrote, “Parker Solar Probe has flown through a stream of particles that erupted from the Sun. No other spacecraft has done this and it’s letting us see how the Sun’s energy interacts with nearby dust particles that were left over from comets and asteroids!"

Can ISRO's Aditya-L1 mission face any such danger?

The spacecraft will cover the distance in four months time and will be placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system. The point is about 1.5 million km from the Earth. A satellite placed in the halo orbit around the L1 point has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation/eclipses, which is about 1 percent of the Earth-Sun distance. 

As per report, the spacecraft may face such solar storms as during its expected time of reaching, the solar activity is projected to be at its highest. However, it added that it is unlikely that the mission would fail as NASA's Parker Solar Probe which was launched in 2018 is the closest human-made craft to the sun which is 6.9 million kms away from the surface of the sun. Earlier, a report by Forbes stated NASA's Parker Solar Probe faced two days of CME with 5.7 million miles which is 9.2 million kilometers from the solar surface. However, India's maiden solar mission Aditya L1 is about 1.5 million km away from the Earth.

When Aditya L1 will land?

According to the information, Aditya L1 is expected to reach its L1 point in the orbit around Sun in 126 days after its launch, ie four months. However, there is no clear date or time announced by ISRO till now.

Also Read: Aditya L1 mission FAQ: All your questions about India's maiden solar mission answered

How Aditya L1 will work?

Spacecraft's seven payloads will be placed in different locations around the Sun. A satellite will be placed the halo orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1). That satellite placed in the halo orbit will have the major advantage as it will be able to view the Sun without any occultation/eclipses.

Other payloads carried by the spacecraft will be used to observe the photosphere, chromosphere and the outermost layers of the Sun (the corona) using electromagnetic and particle and magnetic field detectors. Four payloads will directly view the Sun, and the remaining three will carry out in-situ studies of particles and fields at the Lagrange point L1.

Objectives of Aditya L1 mission

The major objectives of ISRO's first solar mission include: studying solar upper atmospheric (chromosphere and corona) dynamics; studying chromospheric and coronal heating, physics of the partially ionised plasma, initiation of the coronal mass ejections, and flares; observing the in-situ particle and plasma environment providing data for the study of particle dynamics from the Sun; and physics of solar corona and its heating mechanism.

Moreover, the mission also aims to study diagnostics of the coronal and coronal loops plasma: temperature, velocity and density; development, dynamics and origin of CMEs; identify the sequence of processes that occur at multiple layers (chromosphere, base and extended corona) which eventually leads to solar eruptive events; magnetic field topology and magnetic field measurements in the solar corona; and drivers for space weather (origin, composition and dynamics of solar wind).

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Updated: 20 Sep 2023, 04:05 PM IST
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