Pune: IUCAA Scientists’ Decade-Long Dream Realized With Launch of ‘Aditya L-1’ Solar Observatory

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Pune, 2nd September 2023: After nearly a decade of unwavering dedication, Pune scientists are witnessing the fulfillment of their visionary dream as the ‘Aditya L-1’ solar observatory takes flight. A team of scientists and engineers at the Inter University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) in Pune has played a pivotal role in bringing this mission to fruition, setting their sights on studying the Sun from a remarkable distance of 1.5 million kilometers from Earth.

The inception of ‘Aditya L-1’ and one of its cornerstone instruments took root at IUCAA. Professors A. N. Ramprakash and Durgesh Tripathi, both affiliated with IUCAA, joined forces with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) to craft the Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT). Originally conceived as a solar observatory in Earth’s orbit, the project evolved into the groundbreaking observatory we see today, largely thanks to ISRO’s enthusiastic involvement.

Despite the formidable challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, IUCAA’s scientists tenaciously pressed on with the development of critical equipment for ‘Aditya L-1.’ A multitude of universities and research institutions from across India contributed their expertise and resources to make this audacious solar mission a reality.

The ‘Aditya L-1’ spacecraft embarked on its extraordinary journey from ISRO’s Satish Dhawan Space Center in Sriharikota on September 2nd, marking a momentous milestone in India’s space exploration endeavors. The primary aim of this mission is to delve into the Sun’s outermost atmosphere and scrutinize the solar wind from a vantage point situated at Lagrange point L-1. This location harnesses the unique gravitational forces of the Earth and the Sun, offering an unparalleled perspective on solar phenomena.

This remarkable achievement closely follows India’s successful Chandrayaan-3 mission, underscoring the nation’s burgeoning prowess in space exploration and unwavering commitment to advancing our comprehension of the cosmos.


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