Solar Orbiter

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brian livesey
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
Location: Lancashire

Solar Orbiter

Post by brian livesey »

The ESA's ( European Space Agency ) Solar Orbiter probe is scheduled to launch on Monday. A leading member of the Solar Orbiter team, Professor Lucie Green of University College London, said that the Orbiter will give researchers "an opportunity to get up close and personal with our star".
The main focus will be on the solar wind. Besides yielding other solar data, the Orbiter could unlock secrets of the solar wind high energy particles that enter Earth's magnetic field and can cause mayhem to power supplies, the internet, GPS navigation and other satellites, and the microelectronics on aircraft.
The Solar Orbiter will approach the Sun within a distance of 26 million miles, which puts it 10 million miles closer to the Sun than the planet Mercury. Professor Green added, "This is epic. Solar Orbiter gives us this ability to get up close and personal with a star, the only star in the universe that we can do this with. It's going to have a big impact on science." The probe's orbit around the Sun will be changed at one point to show our star's polar regions for the first time.
Meanwhile, last week, scientists using the 4 metre Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope in Hawaii, produced the highest resolution images of the solar surface so far, with better still to come.
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