Solar Orbiter Will Be Capturing Images Of Sun’s Poles For The First Time
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On Sunday, February 9, 2020, the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter, a spacecraft designed to observe the sun in incredible detail, launched on a mission to try and solve some solar mysteries. The spacecraft launched atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 11:03 pm EST (0403 GMT on February 10, 2020).
The Parker Solar Probe and the Solar Orbiter are working hand-in-hand to paint a bigger picture of what’s happening on the Sun, in the video “Solar Orbiter Will Take Mankind’s First Images of the Sun’s Poles, Countdown to Launch“, below:
On February 9, 2020, the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral Florida on top of an Atlas V 411 spacecraft. The spacecraft’s mission is to fly inside the orbit of Mercury, on a tilted orbit that takes it above and below the Sun, capturing images of the Sun’s poles for the first time. This is just a year and a half after the launch of NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, which will fly even closer. Together, the two spacecraft will measure the Sun from every angle up close, providing detailed images and insights of our closest star, to help understand how it creates and controls the giant bubble of plasma that surrounds the entire Solar System, in the video “We’ve Never Seen the Sun’s Poles. That’s About to Change With Solar Orbiter“, below:
United Launch Alliance will launch an Atlas V411 rocket carrying the joint European Space Agency (ESA) / NASA Solar orbiter mission, in the video “LIVE: Launch of Atlas V 411 with Solar Orbiter Mission“, below:
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 411 rocket launched the Solar Orbiter spacecraft from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on 10 February 2020, at 04:03 UTC (9 February, at 23:03 EST). Built by Airbus, Solar Orbiter is an international collaborative mission between ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA, designed to observe the Sun with high spatial resolution telescopes. Solar Orbiter will provide the first-ever images of the Sun’s poles and the never-before-observed magnetic environment there, in the video “Atlas V launches Solar Orbiter“, below:
To better understand Solar Orbiter, please refer to the excerpt from wikipedia, in italics, below:
The Solar Orbiter (SolO)  is a Sun-observing satellite, developed by the European Space Agency (ESA). SolO is intended to perform detailed measurements of the inner heliosphere and nascent solar wind, and perform close observations of the polar regions of the Sun, which is difficult to do from Earth, both serving to answer the question “How does the Sun create and control the heliosphere?”
SolO will make observations of the Sun from an eccentric orbit moving as close as ~60 solar radii (RS), or 0.284 astronomical units (au), placing it inside Mercury‘s perihelion of 0.3075 au.  During the mission the orbital inclination will be raised to about 25°. The total mission cost is US$1.5 billion, counting both ESA and NASA contributions.
SolO was launched on 10 February 2020. The mission is planned to last 7 years.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com
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