India’s inaugural space-based solar observatory successfully launched from Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR (SDSC SHAR), Sriharikota on September 2. The ISRO solar mission is now en route to the Lagrange 1 (L1) point, a stable gravitational area situated approximately 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth. After five days of travel, Aditya-L1 has captured its first-ever image of Earth and the Moon, including a selfie. The spacecraft has shared these photographs with ISRO.
ISRO has now shared these pictures on its official X account and said, “Aditya-L1 Mission: Onlooker! Aditya-L1, destined for the Sun-Earth L1 point, takes selfie and pictures of Earth and Moon.
A selfie with the camera attached to the Aditya-L1 shows the VELC (Visible Emission Line Coronagraph) and SUIT (Solar Ultraviolet Imager) instruments. The spacecraft took the images on September 4, just two days after launch. On the same day, it also snapped a picture with the Earth and Moon visible in the background. The image is a reminder of how far Aditya-L1 has moved from the planet in such a short time, and how small and insignificant planet Earth and its Moon appear from afar.
Aditya-L1 journey to L1 point
The spacecraft has completed two successful transits around Earth, with the final transit taking place on September 5. According to PerISRO, the next flight will be conducted on September 10. After that, one final move is made to align the spacecraft to L1. paragraph.
During the spacecraft’s trajectory towards L1, it first leaves the Earth’s gravitational pull, called the sphere of influence (SOI). The spacecraft then enters the cruise phase and is finally placed in a large halo orbit around L1. The entire journey from launch to L1 is expected to take around four months for Aditya-L1.
The aim of the mission is to gain a deeper understanding of the heating of the Sun’s chromosphere and corona, the physics of partially ionized plasma, the formation of coronal mass ejections and solar flares. It explores different layers, including the outermost layer of the Sun. In addition, it plans to study the formation and composition of the solar wind and space weather.