Aditya-L1 detects solar activity, tracks major solar flares with instruments.

By Oliver Townsend Jun 10, 2024
Aditya-L1’s instruments capture solar activity, monitor major solar flares.jpegOrginal image from:

Aditya L1, an Indian solar observatory located at Lagrangian point L1, has been instrumental in capturing solar activity and monitoring major solar flares. Designed to observe and understand the chromospheric and coronal dynamics of the Sun continuously, Aditya L1 recently monitored significant solar flares during the week of May 8-15, 2024. The Sun’s active region AR13664 unleashed a series of intense solar flares and coronal mass ejections, resulting in a geomagnetic storm on May 11, 2024. Aditya L1’s instruments, including the Solar Low Energy X-ray Spectrometer (SoLEXS), the High Energy L1 Orbiting Satellite (HEL1OS), the Advanced Solar Wind Plasma Experiment (ASPEX), and the Magnetometer (MAG), played a crucial role in capturing these solar activities.

Key Instruments in Action: SUIT and VELC

Aditya L1 is equipped with advanced instruments such as the Solar Ultra Violet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) and the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) designed to study the Sun’s outer layers and corona. During the intense solar activity from May 10-11, 2024, SUIT and VELC were in calibration and protective modes to prevent potential damage. However, after completing their calibration processes, the instruments resumed their operations on May 14, 2024, capturing valuable solar data for Indian scientists.

Operational Challenges and Resumption

Due to the critical nature of solar eruptions, SUIT and VELC were safeguarded during heightened solar activity to ensure their protection. Their protective doors were reopened on May 14, 2024, following the completion of calibration processes and the subsiding of intense solar activity. After resuming operations, these instruments continued to capture essential solar data for further analysis by scientists.

Related Collaborative Efforts

Other Indian space assets like the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft and the X-ray Polarimeter Satellite (XPoSat) also contributed to observing solar events alongside Aditya L1. Ground facilities like the Udaipur Solar Observatory (USO) operated by the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) complemented space-based observations, enhancing the monitoring and understanding of solar activities. The collaborative efforts among these entities underscore the significance of global cooperation in advancing space weather research.

Continuing Mission and Prospects

Aditya L1 continues its mission to study the Sun and provide valuable data to scientists globally. By monitoring solar activities and space weather phenomena, Aditya L1 contributes to safeguarding India’s technological infrastructure and expanding our knowledge of the Sun. The spacecraft’s instruments, especially SUIT and VELC, are poised to capture more critical data in the upcoming months, offering deeper insights into solar behavior and its effects on the solar system.

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