India’s Aditya-L1 mission has begun collecting data on the behavior of particles that surround Earth. The mission, which launched on September 2, aims to study solar activities to better understand space weather and its impact on Earth.
The spacecraft’s Supra Thermal & Energetic Particle Spectrometer (STEPS) instrument was activated on September 10 while the spacecraft was approximately 31,068 miles away from Earth. STEPS consists of six sensors that measure super thermal and energetic ions and electrons in different directions using low and high-energy particle spectrometers.
Aditya-L1 is headed towards the Earth-Sun Lagrange Point 1, located about 1 million miles away. The spacecraft will continue to observe particles surrounding our planet from this distant orbital perch. The data collected will help scientists investigate the origin, acceleration, and anisotropy (variations in intensity and characteristics depending on direction) of solar wind and space weather phenomena.
The mission carries a total of seven science instruments onboard. Four of these instruments will be focused on observing the Sun directly, while the remaining three will measure particles at Lagrange Point 1 to study the effects of solar dynamics in the interplanetary medium.
India’s previous lunar mission, Chandrayaan-3, successfully landed on the Moon’s surface on August 23. While the mission is currently in sleep mode to survive the lunar night, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) plans to wake up the lander and rover when the Sun rises on the Moon’s cratered surface.
With the Aditya-L1 mission and its focus on studying the Sun, India aims to enhance its understanding of space weather and contribute to the broader scientific community’s knowledge of our host star.
– Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)