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TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE AND ADITYA-L1 MISSION



  Apr 12, 2024

TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE AND ADITYA-L1 MISSION



What is a Total Solar Eclipse?

A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon moves between the Sun and Earth, casting a shadow on Earth, fully blocking the view of the Sun. For a brief period, day turns into night in the path of the Moon’s shadow. During the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, the Sun will be completely obscured by the Moon for approximately four minutes.

What is ISRO’s Aditya-L1 Mission?

The Aditya-L1 mission, undertaken by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is India’s first solar probe designed to study the Sun. Launched earlier in the year, the spacecraft has reached the Lagrange Point 1 (L1 point), 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. This vantage point allows continuous observation of the Sun without the interference of Earth’s atmosphere.

How Will Aditya-L1 Track the Sun During the Eclipse?

Aditya-L1 will utilize two of its six instruments to observe the Sun during the total solar eclipse:

1.Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC): Designed to study the solar corona’s dynamics and diagnose its properties.

2.Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT): Aims to observe the photosphere and chromosphere of the Sun in the ultraviolet spectrum.

Why is the Total Solar Eclipse Important for Aditya-L1?

The total solar eclipse provides a unique opportunity for Aditya-L1 to study the Sun’s outer layer, the corona, which becomes visible from Earth only during such eclipses. The corona, a plasma “atmosphere” surrounding the Sun, is hotter than its surface, and understanding its dynamics is crucial for solar science.

What Will Aditya-L1 Study?

Aditya-L1’s mission objectives include:

•Understanding the solar corona and chromosphere.
•Studying solar phenomena like solar winds and their impact on space weather.
•Analyzing solar emissions and their effect on Earth’s climate and satellite technology.

Why Can’t the Eclipse Be Seen from India?

The path of the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, will cross parts of North America, including Mexico, the United States, and Canada. The alignment of the Earth, Moon, and Sun during the eclipse will not favor visibility from India.

Conclusion:

The total solar eclipse presents a significant opportunity for ISRO’s Aditya-L1 mission to advance our understanding of the Sun. By studying the Sun’s behavior and emissions, scientists hope to gain insights into solar phenomena that affect Earth’s climate, technology, and environment.


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