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First ever STEREO images of the entire sun

Date:
February 7, 2011
Source:
NASA
Summary:
NASA has released the first complete view of the sun's entire surface and atmosphere. Seeing the whole sun front and back simultaneously will enable significant advances in space weather forecasting for Earth, and improve planning for future robotic or crewed spacecraft missions throughout the solar system.

Latest image of the far side of the Sun based on high resolution STEREO data, taken on February 2, 2011 at 23:56 UT when there was still a small gap between the STEREO Ahead and Behind data. This gap will start to close on February 6, 2011, when the spacecraft achieve 180 degree separation, and will completely close over the next several days.
Credit: NASA

NASA has released the first complete view of the sun's entire surface and atmosphere.

Seeing the whole sun front and back simultaneously will enable significant advances in space weather forecasting for Earth, and improve planning for future robotic or crewed spacecraft missions throughout the solar system.

These views are the result of observations by NASA's two Solar TErrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft. The duo are on diametrically opposite sides of the sun, 180 degrees apart. One is ahead of Earth in its orbit, the other trailing behind.

Launched in October 2006, STEREO traces the flow of energy and matter from the sun to Earth. It also provides unique and revolutionary views of the sun-Earth system. The mission observed the sun in 3-D for the first time in 2007. In 2009, the twin spacecraft revealed the 3-D structure of coronal mass ejections which are violent eruptions of matter from the sun that can disrupt communications, navigation, satellites and power grids on Earth.

STEREO is the third mission in NASA's Solar Terrestrial Probes program within the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the mission, instruments and science center.

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., designed and built the spacecraft and is responsible for mission operations.

The STEREO imaging and particle detecting instruments were designed and built by scientific institutions in the U.S., UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland.

To view the image with supporting visuals and information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/stereo


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

NASA. "First ever STEREO images of the entire sun." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207102145.htm>.
NASA. (2011, February 7). First ever STEREO images of the entire sun. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207102145.htm
NASA. "First ever STEREO images of the entire sun." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110207102145.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

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