Technology Closer than ever before to the Sun: a european...

Closer than ever before to the Sun: a european ship passes 77 million kilometers from the star


The satellite Solar Orbiter took in the moments of its maximum approximation some images in ultraviolet light, which will come to the Earth in a matter of days.

The european probe Solar Orbiter, launched last February, it survived this June 15, your first close encounter with the Sun to spend 77 million kilometers from its surface, the half of the distance that separates the sun from our planet.

During the week subsequent to this initial perihelion (the closest position to the center of the orbit) the operators of the mission will review the functioning of a dozen of scientific tools that carries the ship, reports the European Space Agency (ESA). About the same time it will be necessary to download, via an antenna located in the argentine province of Mendoza, the images taken in that tense moment from the satellite.

The Solar Orbiter is not the spacecraft closest to the Sun, because the probe Parker’s Solar Probe of NASA, launched in 2018, is now in its crown outside. However, the apparatus us don’t have telescopes that allow looking directly at the sun, something that itself stands out the european mission.

“Our telescopes scanning uv have the same spatial resolution as the Observatory’s Dynamic Solar (SDO) of NASA, which takes high resolution images of the Sun from an orbit close to the Earth”, compared the scientific mission of Daniel Müller. “Because currently we are at half of the distance from the Sun, our images have double the resolution the SDO’s during this perihelion”.

The orbiter european weighs something less than two tonnes and has a maximum dimension of 3 metres, not counting its solar panels. Your ten tools seek to give an answer to how to arises and how is accelerates the solar wind and what is the origin of the magnetic field, which determines the cycles of activity solar noticeable on our planet, in addition to other scientific questions.

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