Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ulysses Starts New Journey Around The Sun's Poles

Date:
November 21, 2006
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
Sixteen years after its launch on Oct. 6, 1990, the Ulysses spacecraft has begun its third "solar polar orbit" -- a journey around the poles of the sun. The mission, a joint NASA-European Space Agency venture, studies how the sun's gaseous outer atmosphere spews into space, creating huge space storms. This violent "space weather," in turn, can affect Earth's electricity, satellite and cell phone communications.

Artist's concept of Ulysses at sun's pole.
Credit: Image courtesy of NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Sixteen years after its launch on Oct. 6, 1990, the Ulysses spacecraft has begun its third "solar polar orbit" -- a journey around the poles of the sun. The mission, a joint NASA-European Space Agency venture, studies how the sun's gaseous outer atmosphere spews into space, creating huge space storms. This violent "space weather," in turn, can affect Earth's electricity, satellite and cell phone communications.

Observations by previous spacecraft viewed the sun from its equator. Ulysses is the first mission to move out of that plane and maneuver into an orbit that allows it to study the sun's poles. That view gives a more complete perspective of the sun's atmosphere.

Ulysses Project Scientist Dr. Edward Smith of NASA'S Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which manages Ulysses, commented on this mission's unique capabilities: "All the previous spacecraft that have been flown, either to study the sun, the solar wind, cosmic rays, or to study planets have been restricted to the solar equator. But it's been known for a long time, since the very start of the space age, that there would be a great deal of benefit in being able to make three-dimensional measurements basically, to escape out of the solar equator, find out what's going on in regions that are very difficult to study, and so it was decided that this Ulysses mission would do that."

Why is it important to study the sun's activity and the space storms it triggers? "They affect our space technology, such things as communications satellites, weather satellites," Smith explained. "We are dependent to a large extent on satellite technology, to say nothing of people suddenly finding they can't watch their favorite TV program."

Speaking on past effects of the sun on Earth, Smith added: "In the past, some of the large solar flares have produced blackouts in major parts of the United States and elsewhere, so that huge systems, including power systems, can be affected."

More information on the Ulysses mission and its new polar orbit is at: http://ulysses.jpl.nasa.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Ulysses Starts New Journey Around The Sun's Poles." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061120175549.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2006, November 21). Ulysses Starts New Journey Around The Sun's Poles. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061120175549.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Ulysses Starts New Journey Around The Sun's Poles." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061120175549.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is Actually A Hologram

Experiment Tests Whether Universe Is Actually A Hologram

Newsy (Aug. 27, 2014) Researchers at Fermilab are using a device called "The Holometer" to test whether our universe is actually a 2-D hologram that just seems 3-D. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

Newsy (Aug. 23, 2014) The private spaceflight company says it is preparing a thorough investigation into Friday's mishap. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Did Russia Really Find Plankton On The ISS? NASA Not So Sure

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) Russian cosmonauts say they've found evidence of sea plankton on the International Space Station's windows. NASA is a little more skeptical. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space to Ground: Hello Georges

Space to Ground: Hello Georges

NASA (Aug. 18, 2014) Europe's ATV-5 delivers new science and the crew tests smart SPHERES. Questions or comments? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins