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Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT)


Recently, the Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT), a unique space telescope developed by Pune’s Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) has been delivered to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).


GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope
  2. About Aditya-L1 mission

Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope

The SUIT (Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope) is an instrument on-board the Aditya-L1 mission of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). It is designed to measure and monitor solar radiation in the near ultraviolet wavelength range (200-400 nm) emitted by the Sun.

Here are some key features and significance of the SUIT instrument:
  • Solar Radiation Mapping: SUIT will map the photosphere and chromosphere of the Sun using 11 filters that are sensitive to different wavelengths. These filters cover different heights in the solar atmosphere and provide valuable data for understanding the processes involved in the transfer of mass and energy between different layers.
  • Sun-Climate Relationship: By measuring and monitoring the solar spectral irradiance, SUIT will contribute to the understanding of the Sun’s influence on the Earth’s atmosphere. It will help in studying the chemistry of oxygen and ozone in the stratosphere, which is crucial for understanding the Sun-climate relationship.
  • Seamless Measurement of Solar Radiation: SUIT will provide a comprehensive measurement of solar radiation across a wide range of wavelengths, from hard X-ray to infrared. It will also perform in-situ measurements of particles in the solar wind, including the Sun’s magnetic field, at the Lagrangian point L1.
  • Health Hazard Monitoring: The SUIT instrument will also measure the ultraviolet (UV) radiation emitted by the Sun, which is hazardous to human health and can contribute to skin cancer. This information is important for assessing the potential risks of UV exposure.
  • Addressing Fundamental Questions: The SUIT telescope will help address fundamental questions related to the Sun, such as the existence of a higher temperature atmosphere above the cooler surface and the origin and variation of near-ultraviolet radiation and high-energy solar flares.

About Aditya-L1 mission

The Aditya-L1 mission is an upcoming spacecraft mission developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and several Indian research institutes. Aditya, which means “Sun” in Sanskrit, aims to study the solar atmosphere, particularly the solar corona (the outermost part).

Some key details about the Aditya-L1 mission:
  • Objectives: The mission’s primary objective is to observe and study the solar corona, including its dynamics, magnetic field variations, and other physical processes. It will also investigate the origin of solar wind, which affects space weather and its impact on Earth’s magnetosphere.
  • Launch Vehicle: Aditya-L1 will be launched aboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-XL), a reliable and versatile launch vehicle developed by ISRO.
  • Comprehensive Observations: Over time, the mission’s objectives have been expanded, and it is now intended to be a comprehensive observatory of the Sun and space environment. It will provide valuable data for understanding various aspects of solar activity and its effects on space weather.
  • Orbit: Aditya-L1 will be placed in an orbit around the Lagrange point L1, which is located approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. Lagrange points are positions in space where the gravitational pull of two large masses (in this case, the Sun and Earth) precisely balances the centripetal force required for a small object to move with them. This unique orbit will allow Aditya-L1 to have continuous views of the Sun without interruptions.
  • Scientific Instruments: The spacecraft will carry multiple instruments to observe the Sun, including a coronagraph to study the solar corona, ultraviolet imaging telescopes, and other sensors to measure various parameters of solar activity.

-Source: Indian Express

December 2023