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India’s First Solar Mission

The Visible Line Emission Coronagraph (VLEC), the primary payload on board Aditya-L1, was handed over to  Indian Space Research Organisation.

Why in News?

Recently, the Visible Line Emission Coronagraph (VLEC), the primary payload on board Aditya-L1, was handed over to  Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA). 

  • ISRO is planning to launch the Aditya-L1 mission, first Indian space mission to observe the Sun by June or July 2023 to observe the Sun and the solar corona.


  • The telescope is one of the seven payloads on Aditya-L1.


  • It is unique because it has never obtained full disk images of the sun in the 2000 to 4000 A wavelength range before.
  • It will allow us to record images in this wavelength crucial for maintaining the Ozone and Oxygen content in the atmosphere of the Earth.
  • It will also measure the UV radiation hazardous for skin cancer.
  • It will address fundamental questions such as the existence of a higher-temperature atmosphere above the cooler surface of the Sun and the origin and variation of near-ultraviolet radiation and high-energy solar flares.
  • It will help in the measurement of solar radiation from Hard X-ray to Infrared, as well as in-situ measurements of particles in the solar wind, including the Sun’s magnetic field at the L1 point.
  • It is expected that it will last for five years.


  • ISRO funded the initial Rs 25 crore required for the hardware, a small portion of the overall project.


  • It will help in studying the temperature, velocity and density of the corona, understand the processes that result in heating of the corona and acceleration of the solar wind, aid studies on drivers of space weather, measure the magnetic field of corona and study the development and origin of coronal mass ejection.

What are the Other Missions to the Sun?

  • NASA’s Parker Solar Probe: Aims to trace how energy and heat move through the Sun’s corona and to study the source of the solar wind’s acceleration.
    • It is part of NASA’s ‘Living With a Star’ programme that explores different aspects of the Sun-Earth system.
  • Helios 2 Solar Probe: The earlier Helios 2 solar probe, a joint venture between NASA and space agency of erstwhile West Germany, went within 43 million km of the Sun’s surface in 1976.
  • Solar Orbiter: A joint mission between the ESA and NASA to collect data that will help answer a central question of heliophysics like how the Sun creates and controls the constantly changing space environment throughout the solar system.
  • Other Active Spacecraft Monitoring the Sun: Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE), Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS), WIND, Hinode, the Solar Dynamics Observatory, and Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO).

Read also:- Ningaloo Solar Eclipse

India’s First Solar Mission,India’s First Solar Mission

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