Dipankar Banerjee of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru, which is one of the institutions working on Mission Aditya-1, speaks to Down To Earth
What specific area of the mission is the IIA working on?
IIA is making the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC), which is one of the main payloads. Coronagraph creates an artificial total solar eclipse in space by blocking the sunlight by an occultor. This telescope will have capabilities of spectral imaging of the corona in visible and infra-red. We are in phase 1 of the mission. Design and review are almost complete.
What is going to be the payload capacity of the mission?
The coronagraph is the biggest payload occupying 60 per cent of weight of the instruments on board Aditya-1. Using this payload, we want to study the dynamic changes in the sun.
How is Aditya-1 different from previous missions to the sun?
Aditya-1 is a multi-wavelength observatory which will look at different layers of the solar atmosphere. Aditya-1 is different in many ways. Take NASA's STEREO. It has two coronagraphs and one imager. The coronagraphs on board STEREO take images every 10 minutes, and probes only at the outer corona. Aditya-1's VELC, on the other hand, will look at the inner corona and will take images every second.
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