Aditya-L1, India's first space-based solar observatory, has begun collecting scientific data, the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) announced on Monday morning.
The sensors of the Supra Thermal & Energetic Particle Spectrometer (STEPS) instrument have begun measuring supra-thermal and energetic ions and electrons at distances greater than 50,000 km from Earth, the space agency said. This data helps scientists analyse the behaviour of particles surrounding Earth.
The STEPS instrument, is a part of the Aditya Solar Wind Particle EXperiment (ASPEX) payload. Aditya L1 has seven payloads.
STEPS comprises six sensors, each observing in different directions and measuring supra-thermal and energetic ions ranging from 20 keV/nucleon to 5 MeV/nucleon, in addition to electrons exceeding 1 MeV. These measurements are conducted using low and high-energy particle spectrometers. The data collected during Earth’s orbits helps scientists to analyse the behaviour of particles surrounding the Earth, especially in the presence of the magnetic field of Earth, ISRO said.
STEPS was activated on September 10, at a distance greater than 50,000 km from Earth. This distance is equivalent to more than eight times the Earth's radius, placing it well beyond Earth's radiation belt region. After completing the necessary instrument health checks, data collection continued until the spacecraft had moved farther than 50,000 km from