India's first sun-studying observatory, Aditya-L1, has transmitted the first-ever full disk images of the Sun, marking a significant achievement for Tezpur University.
The Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) used to capture these images was developed under the leadership of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Pune.
The project involved collaboration with various institutions, including the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Centre for Excellence in Space Science Indian (CESSI) at IISER-Kolkata, Indian Institute of Astrophysics Bengaluru, Udaipur Solar Observatory (USO-PRL), and Tezpur University in Assam.
Janmejoy Sarkar, a research scholar at Tezpur University, has been part of the Aditya L1 mission since 2021, contributing to the development of the SUIT payload. His work, which forms part of his PhD, includes optical and mechanical integration, instrument calibration, qualification, and testing of the payload, under the supervision of Prof. Gazi Ahmed of the Department of Physics, TU, and Prof. Durgesh Tripathi and Prof. AN Ramaprakash of IUCAA, Pune.
Earlier, Chayan Dutta, also a Tezpur University alumnus, had overseen the launch control operations of the Chandrayaan-3.
“Solar Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope (SUIT) instrument on board the #AdityaL1 spacecraft has successfully captured the first full-disk images of the Sun. @TezpurUniv’s logo can be seen in the images. Development of SUIT involved a collaborative effort of several inst,” the university announced in ‘X’.
Applauding the achievement of the university, CM Himanta Biswa Sarma wrote in X, “Well done! This is great news - Assam’s research will leave its footprint on Aditya! Interestingly, Tezpur is also known as Agnigarh in the Mahabharata, and now the city’s work will endure the power of Agni devta”.
Isro stated that on November 20, 2023, the SUIT payload was powered on. “Following a successful pre-commissioning phase, the telescope captured its first light science images on December 6, 2023. These unprecedented images, taken using eleven different filters, include the first-ever full-disk representations of the Sun in wavelengths ranging from 200 to 400 nm, excluding Ca II h. The full disk images of the Sun in the Ca II h wavelength has been studied from other observatories.”
“SUIT observations will help scientists study the dynamic coupling of the magnetized solar atmosphere and assist them in placing tight constraints on the effects of solar radiation on earth’s climate,” the Isro said.
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