According to India’s space agency ISRO, its Aditya-L1 solar telescope has begun science observations with one instrument, even as it continues its journey to its final position at L1, one million miles from the Earth.
The activation of STEPS occurred on September 10, 2023, at a distance exceeding 50,000 km from Earth. This distance equates to more than eight times the Earth’s radius, placing it significantly beyond the Earth’s radiation belt region. Following the successful completion of essential health checks for the instrument, the data collection process continued until the spacecraft had travelled beyond the 50,000 km mark from Earth.
All units of STEPS are currently operating within normal parameters. A graphical representation illustrates the measurements, showcasing fluctuations in the energetic particle environment within Earth’s magnetosphere, which were collected by one of the instrument’s units.
It is expected Aditya-L1 will reach L1 in January, where it will begin round-the-clock observations of the Sun, in parallel with NASA’s Soho telescope, which has been at L1 since the 1990s.
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