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Chandrayaan 2 launched: ISRO now sets eye on mission to study the Sun

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New Delhi, July 23: After the successful launch of Chandrayaan-2, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) now sets it's eye on planned launch of its solar mission, Aditya-L1. The mission is planned for launch in the first half of 2020.

Aditya-L1 is meant to observe the corona, which refers to the outer layers of the Sun, extending to thousands of kilometres. "How the corona gets heated to such high temperatures is still an unanswered question in solar physics," ISRO stated on its website while sharing information about the mission.

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Aditya-L1, with additional experiments, can now provide observations of Sun's Photosphere (soft and hard X-ray), Chromosphere (UV) and corona (Visible and NIR). In addition, particle payloads will study the particle flux emanating from the Sun and reaching the L1 orbit, and the magnetometer payload will measure the variation in magnetic field strength at the halo orbit around L1.

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These payloads have to be placed outside the interference from the Earth's magnetic field and could not have been useful in the low earth orbit.

In addition, particle payloads will study the particle flux emanating from the Sun, it added.

These payloads have to be placed outside the interference from the Earth's magnetic field and cannot be useful in the low earth orbit, the ISRO added.

The Aditya-L1 mission was originally christened Aditya-1 and was conceived as a 400-kg class satellite carrying just one payload: the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph. It was scheduled to be launched in an 800-kilometre low-earth orbit.

It was then realised that a satellite placed in the halo orbit around the L1 Lagrangian point of the Sun-Earth orbit has the amazing advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any obstructions that eclipses may offer, which was when the mission was revised to be called the Aditya-L1 mission.

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In a news conference last month, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K Sivan had said, "It is 1.5 million kilometres from the Earth. It will always look at the Sun and give analysis of the corona because it has a major impact on climate change."

India on Monday successfully launched its second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 onboard its powerful rocket GSLV-MkIII-M1 from the spaceport to explore the unchartered south pole of the celestial body by landing a rover.

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