India’s Aditya-L1 spacecraft recently took some remarkable pictures of Earth and the Moon from space while going to a particular place called Lagrange Point 1. In addition to these pictures, the spacecraft even shared a selfie.
This spacecraft’s primary purpose is to study the Sun. Right now, it’s making its way to a spot known as the Sun-Earth L1 point. This location in space is unique because it’s where the gravitational forces of the Sun and Earth balance out perfectly.
Aditya-L1, India’s first solar observatory mission, was launched on September 2 from the Sriharikota launch pad in Andhra Pradesh. The spacecraft has successfully executed two maneuvers in Earth’s vicinity, with its ultimate goal of departing the planet permanently in the upcoming days, embarking on a journey to its new destination approximately 1.5 million kilometers away.
The spacecraft is equipped with seven specialized instruments, each designed to observe different aspects of the Sun, such as its outermost layer (photosphere), the layer above that (chromosphere), and the scorching outer atmosphere (corona). Additionally, it will measure changes in the strength of the Sun’s magnetic field while situated in a halo orbit around L1.
The primary objective of the Aditya-L1 mission is to enhance our knowledge of solar eruptions and their influence on space weather. To achieve this, the spacecraft will be positioned in a halo orbit around Lagrange Point 1 (L1), located approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth in the direction of the Sun. This strategic location ensures that the spacecraft can continuously observe the Sun, free from interruptions caused by eclipses or occultation, thereby providing real-time data on solar activities.
The primary instrument onboard Aditya L1, the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), is anticipated to transmit 1,440 images daily to the ground station once it reaches its planned orbit.
These images will play a significant role in enhancing our comprehension of the Sun’s characteristics and will contribute to the field of solar astrophysics.
The recent images of Earth and the Moon taken by Aditya-L1 have generated considerable excitement among scientists and space enthusiasts. As the spacecraft continues its journey toward the L1 point, it is poised to provide more captivating images and invaluable data, ushering in a new era in India’s exploration of outer space.