ESA’s Next Space Mission Will Create An Artificial Solar Eclipse

“Touch the Sun”: U. professor McComas helps design record-breaking spacecraft

Due to launch together in 2020, the two satellites making up Proba-3 will fly in precise formation to form an external coronagraph in space, one satellite eclipsing the Sun to allow the second to study the otherwise invisible solar corona.

In a one-decade mission aimed at studying the particle-charged solar storms and their effects on earth, the European-US mission "Solar Orbiter" has launched on Sunday from Florida, as part of partnership between the NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). These missions should open up another round of helicopter physics, or the scrutiny of the sun, and how our host star has impacted the Earth and the rest of the Solar System.

For the first time, the new polar regions of the Sun will be explored by a new solar observation spacecraft that was recently launched specifically for this mission. Gravity assists from Earth and Venus will help swing the spacecraft out of the ecliptic plane, or the space that aligns with the sun's equator, so it can study the sun's poles from above and below.

The launch was initiated by NASA's Launch Services at Kennedy.

Enbio says SolarBlack, in development since 2011, provides a layer of black calcium phosphate to the outermost titanium sheet of Solar Orbiter's multi-layered heat shield. After about an hour of charging, the European Space Agency went to twitter to announce that the solar-Orbiter now flies solo in space.

This illustration made available by NASA depicts the Solar Orbiter satellite in front of the Sun. This mission will repose on the legacy of missions just like the Ulysses spacecraft and, therefore, Solar and Heliophysics Observatory (SOHO), both of which are joint NASA-ESA missions. "Go Solar Orbiter!" said Cesar Garcia Marirrodriga, project manager for the European Space Agency. The sun's magnetic field is so massive that it stretches beyond Pluto, providing a pathway for solar wind to travel directly across the solar system. They will block out the Sun for once in its 20-hour orbit for six hours.


"Besides understanding [solar energetic particles] better, Parker will give us our first look of the solar wind below what is called the Alfvén radius", wrote Szabo.

The third instrument suite, the Wide-Field Imager for Parker Solar Probe, or WISPR, is the only instrument suite on Parker used for imaging and not measuring the corona. "I think we're going to succeed".

Nicolaou said Solar Orbiter will approach the Sun and take photographs of its regions while analysing the Solar magnetic field and the material that is constantly flowing in space interacting with Earth and the planets in our solar system.

"The combination of the images and the particle measurements will help us to understand the basic mechanisms of the Solar activity".

"The poles are particularly important for us to be able to model more accurately", said Holly Gilbert, NASA project scientist for the mission at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

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