Published: Чт, Февраля 13, 2020
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Solar Orbiter launched to take first pictures of Sun's poles

Solar Orbiter launched to take first pictures of Sun's poles

The frontal views of Solar Orbiter should finally produce a full 3D image of the sun, 150 million kilometers from our home planet. After it swings by those two bodies to gain momentum, it'll end up in an orbit around the Sun with a close approach distance of just 26 million miles - still about 100 times as far as the Moon is from Earth, but so close that temperatures at their peak at the spacecraft will reach almost 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The spacecraft will make elliptical orbits around the Sun, completing one revolution every 168 days.

During its mission, the Solar Orbiter will get up close and personal with the Sun in order to investigate our host star and its magnetic field, as well as how the Sun influences our solar system as a whole. During the nominal mission of seven years, this will see it reach a latitude of 25 degrees, where it will collect images and data of the Sun's polar regions that have never been gathered before.

Although there's been a huge delay, it's benefited the solar orbiter in many ways.

An Atlas 5 successfully launched a European-led solar science mission February 9, the latest effort in what scientists are calling a "golden age" for studying the sun.

Solar orbiter launch

That includes, she said, understanding solar storms and how they can pose hazards for human missions beyond Earth orbit.

Following its Earth gravity assist, Solar Orbiter will begin the primary phase of its mission - leading up to its first close pass by the Sun in 2022 - at about a third the distance from the Sun to Earth. But while Parker samples particles from up close, Solar Orbiter will snap photos from far away to heighten observations.

Like NASA's Parker Solar Probe, launched in August 2018, Solar Orbiter sports a sunshield to protect the spacecraft and instruments from the sun's heat.

Europe and NASA's Solar Orbiter took off to space on Sunday night to an unprecedented mission to capture the first images of the Sun's poles. "That's why it's nice that these missions are so long, so you have time to develop these new questions, this new thirst for knowledge".

Solar Orbiter seeks to resolve the physics of the stream of charged particles from the Sun.

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"Solar Orbiter is going to do incredible things".

Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's associate administrator for science, said: "Solar Orbiter is going to do fantastic things". Together with powerful ground observatories, the sun-staring space duo will be like an orchestra, according to Gunther Hasinger, the scientific director of the European Space Agency. This spacecraft has 10 equipment installed.

The latest space mission meant to help us understand the Sun is now on its way after a Sunday night launch. Nine were provided by ESA member states and ESA.

Solar Orbiter complements a fleet of NASA Heliophysics spacecraft observing the star we live with and its effects on the space we travel through. NASA is an accomplice on the crucial, one instrument, called the Heliospheric Imager, just as parts for different instruments and the launch itself.

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