Watch: India’s Aditya-L1 solar mission takes a selfie, sends photos of Earth and Moon

Launched on September 2, the mission is aimed at studying the outermost layers of the Sun and collecting crucial data


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Screenshot: X/@isro
Screenshot: X/@isro

Published: Thu 7 Sep 2023, 2:59 PM

Last updated: Thu 7 Sep 2023, 3:02 PM

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday shared pictures of Earth and the Moon sent by India’s maiden solar mission, Aditya-L1. The spacecraft also sent a “selfie” clicked using its on-board camera.

Aditya-L1 is headed to the Lagrangian point (L1), which is 1.5 million km from the Earth. Launched on September 2, the mission is aimed at studying the outermost layers of the Sun and collecting crucial data.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the space agency shared a photo of the VELC (Visible Emission Line Coronagraph) and SUIT (Solar Ultraviolet Imager) instruments of Aditya-L1 as seen by the spacecraft’s camera.

Another image shows the Earth and the Moon from the point of view of Aditya-L1.

“Onlooker! Aditya-L1, destined for the Sun-Earth L1 point, takes a selfie and images of the Earth and the Moon,” the text attached to the tweet read.

India launched its first solar mission last week from Sriharikota in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

“The launch of Aditya-L1 by PSLV-C57 is accomplished successfully. The vehicle has placed the satellite precisely into its intended orbit. India’s first solar observatory has begun its journey to the destination of Sun-Earth L1 point,” ISRO tweeted after the launch.

Aditya-L1 will be placed in the halo orbit around the Sun-Earth L1 point from where it will be able to observe the sun without any occultations/eclipses. It has so far completed two Earth-bound orbital manoeuvres and will travel towards the L1 point after escaping Earth’s gravitational Sphere of Influence (SOI). It will take around four months from the launch for Aditya-L1 to reach its destination.

The spacecraft is carrying several instruments that will help study solar activities and their effects on space weather in real time. It has a total of seven payloads for observing the photosphere, chromosphere, and the outermost layers of the Sun using electromagnetic particle and magnetic field detectors.


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