Total Solar Eclipse today: ISRO’s Aditya-L1 to track Sun during ‘darkness’


India’s solar probe Aditya L1 will track the behaviour and rays of the Sun on Monday, April 8, during the total solar eclipse. During this time, the Sun will briefly get completely cloaked by the Moon, creating a moment of complete darkness in several countries.

A graphic representation of ISRO’s Aditya L1 mission.

During the total solar eclipse on April 8, the Sun, Moon and the Earth will align in a straight line, leading to darkness during the daytime as the Moon will block the Sun completely. The Sun will remain cloaked for a total of four minutes, during which its enigmatic outer layer will be illuminated.

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Aditya L1, which is the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) maiden solar mission, is in a position to track the Sun during the total solar eclipse. This will help the ISRO further study the chromosphere and corona of the star.

Aditya-L1 reached the Lagrange Point 1 (L1 point) earlier this year on January 6, four months after it was launched. The mission is loaded with six instruments as it tracks and observes the Sun from the Lagrange Point, which is 1.5 million kilometres from the Earth.

Aditya L1 will use two of its six instruments to track the Sun during the solar eclipse. These two instruments are the Visible Emission Line Coronagraph (VELC) and the Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT).

During this eclipse, the corona (outer layer) of the Sun will be briefly visible from Earth as the moon blocks the star. The corona, otherwise, is not visible from the Earth.

The Aditya L1 mission aims to deepen our understanding of the impact of solar phenomena, including the solar corona and photosphere. It also studies the impact of the solar winds and related radiations.

Total solar eclipse on April 8

The total solar eclipse will happen when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. The areas located in the middle of the moon’s shadow will experience a moment of complete darkness during the daytime. During this time, the Sun’s corona will be briefly visible from Earth.

The total eclipse will be visible from parts of North America, including Mexico, the United States and Canada. The major cities from where it will be visible are Dallas, Little Rock, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Buffalo and Burlington. The first solar eclipse of 2024 will not be visible from India.


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