India is working hard to put itself on the map when it comes to space. after successfully landing on the moon, and immediately taking all kinds of photos and more, it is now going to the sun to do research. And in 2023 it is not at all self-evident that space missions go well: Russia recently failed when it wanted to get tech on the Moon.
India’s space agency, ISRO, has yet to do a manned flight to the moon, but uncrewed ones are doing well. However, it is not finished yet and is going to the sun (also unmanned, of course). It sends the space son Aditya-L1, which stands for Surya, the sun god who is the offspring of Aditi (goddess of infinity). First, the probe will go to the first laprange point: a kind of ultimate middle point between sun and earth. That is 1.5 million kilometers from us. The advantage of that orbit is that the sun is always visible there.
It is not the intention to literally go to the sun: that is not really possible: NASA may have touched the sun in 2021: it is not the case that all equipment is so suitable in that heat. So the device will stay where it is and will keep an eye on the sun with various scientific tools. Some are there to investigate precisely that Lagrangian point, while others are there to study the sun itself.
For example, the outer atmosphere, the corona, becomes much hotter than the surface of the sun: why is that? The Indian space experts hope to get an answer. These are temperature differences of millions of degrees Celsius. The sun itself gets only 5,500 degrees on its surface.
Solar wind research
However, the researchers mainly want to learn more about solar flares: that is when energy from magnetic fields is suddenly released and causes a major explosion. In addition, it is also looking for other eruptions, namely plasma clouds, which instead of energy are released in one go with large amounts of plasma. That is interesting from a scientific point of view, but perhaps less directly applicable to us on earth.
However, there is something that the Indian scientists want to look at, which is solar winds. We talked about this earlier in our article about solar holes: this is ejected from the sun and travels to Earth. However, it can also be harmful to satellites and space travelers, for example. It can even affect tech gadgets.
Aditya-L1 has now been successfully launched: the probe is expected to be underway for a week.