Indian Scientist to investigate NASA’s mission to Sun

Dipankar Banerjee a solar physicist from Indian Institute of Astrophysics has been selected by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) as a co- investigator for its mission PUNCH (Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere) to study the Sun. 


The main objective of this mission is to understand the transition of particles from the Sun’s outer corona to solar winds that fill up the interplanetary space. 


PUNCH Mission


The mission is expected to launch by 2022. It will consist if constellation of four suitcase sized microsatellites  that will orbit the earth in formation. 


They will study the sun’s corona which is responsible for solar winds. This is a significant mission for NASA to understand the formation of Sun. 


Sun’s corona is much fainter than the rest of its layers thus can’t be seen or measured by instruments directly. The microsatellites from PUNCH mission will block out the light from Sun for scientists to study corona and the structure inside it. 


India’s Solar Mission  


India is also planning to send up its own satellite Aditya-L1 for a mission to study Sun’s corona. Dipankar Banerjee is the co-chair for that mission as well. ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) and NASA will work jointly for observations from PUNCH and Aditya L-1 to study the sun. 

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