India's premier space research organization, ISRO, has made significant strides with its first solar mission, the Aditya-L1 spacecraft, which has been actively transmitting data about the Sun since its launch on September 2, 2023. ISRO Chief S. Somnath shared insights into the mission's ongoing operations and its contributions to solar research during an event where he was honoured by the P C Chandra Group.

The Aditya-L1 mission is equipped with several instruments dedicated to studying various aspects of the Sun, including UV magnetic charges, coronagraph observations, and X-ray monitoring. "We are looking into the sun in a continuous manner," Somnath stated, emphasizing the comprehensive nature of the observations being made by the spacecraft.

Designed for a five-year mission duration, Aditya-L1's long-term observations aim to provide a deeper understanding of solar activities. Unlike fleeting news reports, the data collected by Aditya-L1 will offer insights into the Sun's behavior over an extended period. "All observations will happen now but the results will be known later," Somnath explained, highlighting the anticipatory nature of the mission's research outcomes.

Solar Eclipse Data Collection

In response to inquiries about the mission's potential to shed light on solar eclipses, Somnath clarified that while eclipses occur due to the Moon blocking the Sun, Aditya-L1 is also gathering data before, during, and after these events. This effort aims to enhance our understanding of the Sun's dynamics during such occurrences.

International Collaborations

Beyond its solar exploration endeavours, ISRO is also engaging in international collaborations. A notable project mentioned by Somnath is the joint satellite mission with NASA named NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar). This partnership underscores ISRO's commitment to advancing space research through global cooperation.

The Aditya-L1 mission marks a significant milestone for ISRO and India's space exploration efforts. By continuously monitoring solar activities and collaborating with international space agencies, ISRO is contributing valuable data and insights that will enhance our understanding of the Sun and its various phenomena.

(With Agency Inputs)