ISRO’s Aditya L1 captures first high-energy X-ray glimpse of solar flares

HEL1OS, the hard X-ray spectrometer on Aditya L1 Solar Mission by ISRO, is the harbinger of flaring activities on the Sun.


Published Nov 08, 2023 | 3:00 PMUpdatedNov 08, 2023 | 3:29 PM

Aditya L1

ISRO’s maiden solar mission, Aditya L1, has captured its first high-energy X-ray glimpse of solar flares.

During its first observation period from approximately 29 October, the High-Energy L1 Orbiting X-ray Spectrometer (HEL1OS) on board Aditya L1 spacecraft recorded the impulsive phase of solar flares, the space agency said in a statement on Tuesday, 7 November.

A solar flare is a sudden brightening of solar atmosphere.

The recorded data is consistent with the X-ray light curves provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES).

“Commissioned on 27 October 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,” it said.

Also read: Aditya-L1 blasts off from Sriharikota


HEL1OS data enables researchers to study explosive energy release and electron acceleration during impulsive phases of solar flares. HEL1OS was developed by the Space Astronomy Group of UR Rao Satellite Centre, ISRO, Bengaluru, the agency added.

HEL1OS, the hard X-ray spectrometer on Aditya L1 solar mission by ISRO, is the harbinger of flaring activities on the Sun, with the ability to capture the early impulsive phase of the solar activity.

According to ISRO, 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.

An ISRO scientist told PTI that capturing the first high-energy X-ray glimpse of solar flares is an indication that the mission is so far doing well on the expected lines.

Also read: Aditya-L1, the space detective trying to solve solar puzzle

Aditya L1

The 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 Lagrange point), which is about 1.5 million km from 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.

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