Episode 627

We've Never Seen the Sun's Poles. That's About to Change With Solar Orbiter

00:00:00
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00:09:23

February 13th, 2020

9 mins 23 secs

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About this Episode

On February 9, 2020, the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral Florida on top of an Atlas V 411 spacecraft. The spacecraft’s mission is to fly inside the orbit of Mercury, on a tilted orbit that takes it above and below the Sun, capturing images of the Sun’s poles for the first time.

This is just a year and a half after the launch of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, which will fly even closer. Together, the two spacecraft will measure the Sun from every angle up close, providing detailed images and insights of our closest star, to help understand how it creates and controls the giant bubble of plasma that surrounds the entire Solar System.

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References:
https://sci.esa.int/web/solar-orbiter/-/liftoff-for-solar-orbiter-esa-s-mission-to-face-the-sun-up-close
https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Solar_Orbiter
http://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Videos/2019/10/Solar_Orbiter_s_journey_around_the_Sun
http://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Ulysses_overview
https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/missions/ulysses/in-depth/
https://www.nasa.gov/content/solar-orbiter-overview
https://sci.esa.int/web/solar-orbiter/-/51169-what-drives-the-solar-wind-and-where-does-the-coronal-magnetic-field-originate-from
https://sci.esa.int/web/solar-orbiter/-/51170-how-do-solar-transients-drive-heliospheric-variability
https://sci.esa.int/web/solar-orbiter/-/51171-how-do-solar-eruptions-produce-energetic-particle-radiation-that-fills-the-heliosphere
https://sci.esa.int/web/solar-orbiter/-/51172-how-does-the-solar-dynamo-work-and-drive-connections-between-the-sun-and-the-heliosphere
https://sci.esa.int/web/solar-orbiter/-/51217-instruments
http://parkersolarprobe.jhuapl.edu/The-Mission/index.php
https://www.eso.org/public/outreach/eduoff/vt-2004/mt-2003/mt-mercury-orbit.html
https://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/Space_Engineering_Technology/Paint_it_black_Stone_Age_sunscreen_for_Solar_Orbiter
https://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/Space_Engineering_Technology/Solar_Orbiter_s_shield_takes_Sun_s_heat

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