NASA and ESA Release The Closest Pictures of the Sun

  • AUTHOR: anam
  • POSTED ON: July 21, 2020

You’re not supposed to see the Sun up close, that’s why the European Space Agency and NASA brings you the closest pictures of our resident star. And it’s incredible!

Image Source – Google | Image by Davide Castelvecchi

The pictures are taken by the Solar Orbiter.

With the collaboration of the European Space Agency and NASA, the Solar orbiter was launched on February 9. This aircraft aims to study the Sun; it carries four instruments and six telescopes to take measurements of the adjacent environment and to aid scientists better understand the star.

The spacecraft orbited 77 million kilometres away, completing its first close elapse of the star in June. That’s about halfway between humankind and the Sun.

The released photos reflect well on the spacecraft’s future missions.

“We didn’t really expect such great results right from the start,” said ESA’s Solar Orbiter project scientist, Daniel Muller. “We can also see how our ten scientific instruments complement each other, providing a holistic picture of the Sun and the surrounding environment.”

Image Source – Google | Image by AMANDA YEO

“These amazing pictures will help scientists piece together the Sun’s atmosphere layers, which is important for understanding how it drives space weather near the Earth and throughout the solar system,” explained NASA’s project scientist for the mission, Holly Gilbert.

The newly captured Sun’s Images somewhat resemble “campfires” or the giant bowl of fire. Technically, these are little solar flares, about a million times minor. Though, it’s unclear whether these flares originate from similar mechanisms.

“These campfires are totally insignificant each by themselves, but summing up their effect all over the Sun, they might be the dominant contribution to the heating of the solar corona,” said Frederic Auchere of the Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale (IAS), France.

Image Source – Google | Image by AMANDA YEO

The temperature of the Sun’s outermost layer, Corona, is around one million degrees Celsius – it’s way warmer than the actual Sun’s surface, which is about 5,000 degrees Celsius. Well, it’s a mystery that the Solar Orbiter aims to solve. 

Image Source – Google | Image by AMANDA YEO

Image Source – Google | Image by AMANDA YEO

Image Source – Google | Image by AMANDA YEO

Staring at the Sun directly may cause serious visionary problems; however, you can still watch the footage captured by NASA and ESA as long as you want to.

Check out the video here:

Curious to see more space pictures? Then take a tour of breathtaking photographs of the archives of NASA with a book called “Earth and Space: Photographs from the Archives of NASA.” It’s worth the read for all the space lovers out there!

Also, have you checked out the latest Spaceman 3D Night Light Illusion Lamp? It looks amazing in the dark and is as much fun as these LEGO Ideas 21312 Women of NASA.

Updated July 21, 2020
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