Indian space solar observatory begins collecting data

Indian space solar observatory begins collecting data

2023-09-18 16:53:08

Aditya-L1 Mission – ISRO


The Indian space observatory for the study of the solar atmosphere Aditya-L 1, launched on September 2, has begun collecting scientific data, specifically from the solar wind.

This is the Supra Thermal & Energetic Particle Spectrometer (STEPS) instrument, which is part of the payload of the Aditya Solar Wind Particle EXperiment (ASPEX).

STEPS consists of six sensorseach of which looks in different directions and measures energetic and suprathermal ions, as well as electrons, reports it’s a statement the Indian space agency, ISRO.

These measurements are made using low and high energy particle spectrometers. Data collected during Earth’s orbits helps scientists analyze the behavior of particles surrounding the Earth, especially in the presence of the Earth’s magnetic field.

STEPS was activated on September 10, 2023, at a distance greater than 50,000 km from Earth. This distance is equivalent to more than 8 times the radius of the Earth, placing it well beyond the region of the Earth’s radiation belt. After completing the necessary instrument condition checks, Data collection continued until the spacecraft moved more than 50,000 km from Earth.

Each STEPS unit is working within normal parameters. A figure shows measurements representing variations in the energetic particle environment within Earth’s magnetosphere, collected by one of the units.

These STEPS measurements will persist during the cruise phase of the Aditya-L1 mission as it progresses towards the L1 Sun-Earth point, 1.5 million kilometers. They will continue once the spacecraft is positioned in its intended orbit. Data collected around L1 would provide information on the origin, acceleration and anisotropy of the solar wind and space weather phenomena.

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