Aditya-L1 spacecraft is designed to provide remote observations of the solar corona
Hel1OS, attached to Aditya L-1 by ISRO has captured the first high-energy X-ray glimpse of solar flares. ISRO on industry shared on X that the High Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS) spectrometer on board has recorded the impulsive phase of solar flares, during its first observation period from approximately October 29. The space agency explains that a solar flare is a sudden brightening of the solar atmosphere.
The space agency in a release explained, "Flares produce enhanced emission in all wavelengths across the electromagnetic spectrum - radio, optical, UV, soft X-rays, hard X-rays and gamma-rays. Flare emission consists of emissions from accelerated particles and hot plasma. Though solar flares have been studied in X-rays and gamma-rays for decades, the initial impulsive emission is very difficult to characterise and understand. The impulsive hard X-ray emission has multiple spectral components which are highly time variable. HEL1OS aims to overcome these difficulties by having a set of detectors specifically tuned to cater to different energy ranges and also provides very high spectral and time resolution measurements."
ISRO wrote, "Commissioned on October 27, 2023, HEL1OS is currently undergoing fine-tuning of thresholds and calibration operations. The instrument is set to monitor the Sun's high-energy X-ray activity with fast timing and high-resolution spectra."
"HEL1OS data enables researchers to study explosive energy release and electron acceleration during impulsive phases of solar flares," ISRO added.
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The space agency said that HEL1OS was developed by the Space Astronomy Group of the U R Rao Satellite Centre, ISRO, Bengaluru.
Aditya-L1 spacecraft is designed to provide remote observations of the solar corona and in-situ observations of the solar wind at L1 (Sun-Earth Lagrangian point), which is about 1.5 million kilometres from the Earth.
It is the first dedicated Indian space mission for observations of the Sun. Aimed at studying the Sun from an orbit around the L1, the mission carries seven payloads to observe the photosphere, chromosphere and the outermost layers of the Sun, the corona, in different wavebands.
Aditya-L1 is a fully indigenous effort with the participation of national institutions.
An ISRO scientist told PTI that capturing the first High-Energy X-ray glimpse of Solar Flares is an indication that the mission is doing well on the expected lines.