NASA successfully sent their orbiter to the near areas of the Sun where no man could visit in the history of space travel. The first images from ESA and NASA’s Solar Orbiter have now become available to the public which includes the closest pictures ever taken of the Sun. The Solar Orbiter is an international memorandum that collaborated between ESA and NASA which helps study our closest star, the Sun.
These unprecedented pictures are the closest the space organization has ever obtained. NASA project scientist for the mission at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Holly Gilbert says the amazing images will help scientists piece together the Sun’s atmospheric layers, which is important for understanding how it drives space weather near the Earth and throughout the solar system.
You are looking at the closest images of the Sun taken ever 🤯
Thanks for the bright views this morning, @ESASolarOrbiter 😎! We launched the #SolarOrbiter spacecraft with @ulalaunch earlier this year. Learn more: https://t.co/LaNQg0JPRJ pic.twitter.com/otqv4UbAwK
— NASA's Launch Services Program (@NASA_LSP) July 16, 2020
NASA helps you watch the Sun using the solar orbiter
The coronavirus pandemic forced mission control at the European Space Operations Center (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany to close down almost completely for weeks. During commissioning, the period when each instrument is extensively tested, ESOC staff were reduced to a skeleton crew. All but essential personnel worked from home.
The team adapted, even readying for an unexpected encounter with comet ATLAS’s ion and dust tails on June 1 and 6, respectively. The spacecraft completed commissioning just in time for its first close solar pass in June.
The Solar Orbiter carries six imaging instruments, each of which studies a different aspect of the Sun. Normally, the first images from a spacecraft confirm the instruments are working; scientists don’t expect new discoveries from them. But the Extreme Ultraviolet Imager, or EUI, on Solar Orbiter, returned data hinting at solar features never observed in such detail.
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