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India has launched a new space mission to observe the sun’s outermost layers

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Aditya-L1 was launched on September 2, 2023, a week after India’s successful unmanned moon landing. The spacecraft was launched shortly before midday and the launch was successful. Aditya-L1 will carry scientific instruments to observe the sun’s outermost layers in a four-month journey.

The latest mission from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be the first by any Asian nation to be placed in orbit around the sun. The mission probe would study coronal mass ejections, a periodic phenomenon that sees huge discharges of plasma and magnetic energy from the sun’s atmosphere. These bursts are so powerful they can reach the Earth and potentially disrupt the operations of satellites.

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