In a groundbreaking achievement, the Aditya-L1 spacecraft’s Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) instrument has successfully captured the first-ever full-disk images of the Sun, as announced by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Friday.
Using a variety of scientific filters, the images, which were captured in the 200–400 nm wavelength range, offered a thorough view of the Sun’s photosphere and chromosphere. When the SUIT payload was turned on on November 20, 2023, a noteworthy milestone was reached. On December 6, 2023, the telescope produced its first light science images after a successful pre-commissioning phase.
ISRO highlighted the unprecedented nature of these images, which encompass the first full-disk representations of the Sun across wavelengths ranging from 200 to 400 nm, excluding Ca II h. While full disk images in the Ca II h wavelength have been studied using other observatories, the Aditya-L1 mission adds a new dimension to solar observations.
Aditya-L1 Mission:— ISRO (@isro) December 8, 2023
The SUIT payload captures full-disk images of the Sun in near ultraviolet wavelengths
The images include the first-ever full-disk representations of the Sun in wavelengths ranging from 200 to 400 nm.
They provide pioneering insights into the intricate details… pic.twitter.com/YBAYJ3YkUy
Scientists were able to gain pioneering insights into the fine details of the Sun’s photosphere and chromosphere by examining the captured images, which revealed sunspots, plage, and quiet Sun regions. It is anticipated that the SUIT observations will be essential to understanding the dynamic coupling of the solar atmosphere’s magnetization. Furthermore, they will help scientists set strict limits on how much solar radiation affects Earth’s climate.
ISRO launched Aditya L1, India’s first space-based mission devoted to Sun research, on September 2. Situated in a halo orbit around the Sun-Earth system’s Lagrange point 1 (L1), roughly 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth, the spacecraft provides a special benefit: uninterrupted, continuous Sun observation. With this real-time observation capability, scientists can easily keep an eye on solar activity and how it affects space weather.
The successful capture of full-disk images marks a significant stride in solar observation capabilities and reinforces India’s position in advancing space-based research. The Aditya-L1 mission is poised to unravel further mysteries of the Sun, contributing valuable data for scientific exploration and enhancing our understanding of the solar-terrestrial relationship.