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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ISRO plans ‘Mission Sun’ : India

SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH of Chandrayaan – I, India’s first mission has enhanced the enthusiasm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) scientists. Chandrayaan – I is about to land on the moon and close to reveal the mystery of moon. Within a month after the launch of the dream moon mission, ISRO scientists are planning for ‘Mission Sun’. ISRO scientists are reportedly designing a spacecraft, named ‘Aditya’, which is supposed to study the outermost region of the sun called corona.

Talking to press, ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair said that Aditya is a mini satellite and the design is getting completed. “During solar maxim, which is happening, we would like to see the type of emissions which are taking place in the sun and how it interacts with the ionosphere and atmosphere and so on,” said Nair.

Dr Jayati Datta, deputy programme director, space science office, ISRO, said Aditya is the first space based solar coronagraph intended to study corona. Datta said, ’Aditya’ would be the first attempt by the Indian scientific community to unravel the mysteries associated with coronal heating, coronal mass ejections and the associated space weather processes and study of these would provide important information on the solar activity conditions.

Further she added, “A basic understanding of the physical processes and continuous monitoring would help in taking necessary steps towards protecting ISRO’s satellites either by switching them off or putting them on a stand-by mode as warranted by the background conditions.”

The temperature of the solar corona goes beyond million degrees. From the earth, corona can be seen only during total solar eclipses mainly due to the bright solar disc and the scattering of the sunlight by the earth’s atmosphere. One has to go beyond the atmosphere to be able to mask the bright solar disc and study the corona.

According to space scientists the temperature of the solar corona goes beyond a million degrees. Corona can be seen from the earth only during total solar eclipses, due to the bright solar disc and the scattering of the sunlight by the earth’s atmosphere. The sun, which is highly turbulent and dynamic, sends out large chunks of charged particles and emits highly energetic electromagnetic radiation in all directions.

To study the corona one needs to go beyond the atmosphere to be able to mask the bright solar disc.

Work towards ‘Mission Sun’, Aditya, has already started with the involvement of ISRO scientists and premier national research institutes in the country. Aditya would be equipped with space borne coronagraph and it would study the coronal mass ejection and consequently the crucial physical parameters for space weather, such as the coronal magnetic field structures, evolution of the coronal magnetic field etc. Besides, the satellite will provide completely new information on the velocity fields and their variability in the inner corona, having an important bearing on the unsolved problem of heating of the corona.

ISRO is planning to launch Aditya mission during the next high solar activity period. The space organisation, however, has not yet confirmed exact date/time of the launch of the mission.

The new mission of ISRO scientists is really a commendable and brilliant step. Through their ambitious projects, the Indian space scientists are working hard to take the country to a new high.

By Md Mudassir Alam

Source: http://www.merinews.com/catFull.jsp?articleID=148705

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1 comment:

anirudh soni said...

Excellent article. Check out our article on ISRO's mission to the Sun.
ISRO plans to get closer to Sun in 2019