2 main payloads on Aditya-L1 send key data from solar flare event

BENGALURU: Two of the main scientific instruments (payloads) on India’s first dedicated solar space observatory mission, Aditya-L1, have captured images and data of intense solar activity during a period of heightened eruptions on the Sun in May 2024.
Sharing data from the Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) and the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) payloads on Aditya-L1, Isro, Monday said: “…While some of Aditya-L1’s payloads observed the events as they happened from the spacecraft’s vantage point at the Sun-Earth L1 point, SUIT and VELC were undergoing calibration and could not capture the real-time action.”
Pointing out that both SUIT and VELC doors were opened on May 14 after the completion of the indented operations, Isro said: “VELC obtained a raster scan image (rectangular pattern of image capture and reconstruction) of the solar corona in the 5303 Angstrom emission line on May 14, clearly showing the location of the potent ‘AR13664’ active region that sparked the recent solar storms.”
As reported earlier, the active region ‘AR13664’ unleashed a series of powerful X-class and M-class solar flares between May 8 and 15, accompanied by coronal mass ejections (CMEs) on May 8 and 9.These violent eruptions triggered a major geomagnetic storm that struck Earth on May 11.
SUIT, on the other hand, has provided high-resolution images of the Sun in multiple ultraviolet wavelengths, revealing active regions, sunspots, and other solar features in incredible detail. These observations probe different layers of the Sun’s atmosphere to study how solar flares transfer energy.
SUIT captured images in six different wavelengths — the Mg II k and Mg II h, narrowbands 276nm, 283nm, 300nm and 320-360 nm — providing different insights.
As per Isro, images in the first two wavelengths have observed a layer called the chromosphere, situated above the Sun’s surface. These observations are helping scientists study how solar flares heat up the chromosphere and distribute their energy.
The first two narrowband (276nm and 283nm) channels have focused on the chromosphere’s wing regions, revealing information about solar flares, sunspots, and energy transfer processes. These findings are expected to improve space weather forecasting and predictions.
“The 300nm narrowband channel has examined energy transfer in the upper photosphere and lower chromosphere, shedding light on how energy moves and heats different solar atmospheric layers. The broad 320nm to 380nm band, centred at 340nm, has monitored solar activity and UV radiation across a wide wavelength range. This data aids in understanding the Sun’s overall UV impact and long-term variations in solar behaviour,” Isro said.
By combining observations from these diverse imaging channels, Aditya-L1 is providing an unprecedented multi-wavelength view of the Sun’s atmosphere, from the photosphere to the chromosphere. These findings are expected to advance the knowledge of solar dynamics and their influence on Earth’s environment.
In May, Isro had released findings from other Aditya-L1 payloads. “Two remote sensing payloads (SoLEXS and HEL1O) captured the solar events during May 8-9 while the two in-situ payloads (ASPEX and MAG) captured this event during May 10-11,” Isro said.
Aside from these, observations were made by the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, XPoSat as well as by a ground-based facility.
Aditya-L1’s unprecedented views from space, combined with observations from other Isro assets like Chandrayaan-2 and ground-based telescopes, offer an unprecedented multi-wavelength perspective into the Sun’s stormy behaviour and its impacts on space weather conditions affecting Earth.


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