India's Aditya-L1 solar probe takes an epic selfie with Earth and moon (photos, video)

India's first-ever solar probe just beamed some striking imagery home to Earth. 

Aditya-L1, the new mission from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), snapped a photo of itself in space, as well as shots of Earth and the moon. ISRO combined the footage into a video, which the agency  shared on X  (formerly Twitter) on Thursday (Sept. 7). 

Related: India launches Aditya-L1, its 1st-ever sun probe

The Indian Space Research Organisation Aditya-1 sun spacecraft took a selfie of Earth, visible here in this photo. (Image credit: ISRO)

Aditya-L1 launched on Sept. 2. It's performing checkouts in low Earth orbit right now before heading toward its long-term destination to study the sun. ("Aditya" translates to "sun" in Sanskrit.) 

In about four months, the probe will arrive at Earth-sun Lagrange Point 1 (L1), a gravitationally stable spot about 1 million miles (1.5 million kilometers) from our planet in the direction of the sun.

"A satellite placed in the halo orbit around the L1 point has the major advantage of continuously viewing the sun without any occultation/eclipses," ISRO officials wrote in an Aditya-L1 mission description. "This will provide a greater advantage of observing the solar activities and its effect on space weather in real time."

The Indian Space Research Organisation's Aditya-1 spacecraft's selfie in space. (Image credit: ISRO)

Aditya-L1 will study the sun to learn about a few things: solar activity, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections of charged particles that can spark beautiful auroras on Earth while causing a risk to infrastructure like satellites.

Additionally, it will examine the "coronal heating problem." That  refers to the sun's mysteriously ultra-hot outer atmosphere, which reaches temperatures around 2 million degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 million degrees Celsius), according to NASA. Other layers of the sun are not nearly so hot, presenting a mystery for scientists as to how this happens.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: