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Most detailed new views of the Sun from the Solar Orbiter probe

Most detailed new views of the Sun from the Solar Orbiter probe 1

(ORDO NEWS) — The latest images taken by the Solar Orbiter spacecraft show the entire Sun in an unprecedented level of detail. They were taken on March 7, when the device crossed the line connecting the Earth with the Sun.

One of these images (see title photo), taken with the onboard Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) instrument, is the best ever image of the entire disk of the Sun and its outer atmosphere, the corona, in the history of space observation.

Another image, taken with the Spectral Imaging of the Coronal Environment (SPICE) instrument, shows the entire disk of the Sun for the first time in this type of imagery in the last 50 years.

This image is by far the best of its kind to date and was taken in the Lyman-alpha lines (ultraviolet radiation emitted by hydrogen gas).

These images were taken during the period when the Solar Orbiter satellite was at a distance of about 75 million kilometers from our sun, which is about half the distance from the Earth to the Sun.

The high resolution telescope of the EUI instrument captures images with such high spatial resolution that, even when taken from such a close distance, 25 individual frames had to be combined to compose this image.

In addition to the EUI instrument, the SPICE instrument was also used to obtain new images of the Sun. Images taken with this tool have also been combined to create a mosaic image of our star’s entire disk.

The SPICE instrument is designed to track the individual layers of the Sun’s atmosphere, from its corona all the way down to the inner layer known as the chromosphere.

This effect is achieved by using observations at different wavelengths of the hard ultraviolet radiation emitted by atoms.

In this series of SPICE composite images, purple corresponds to hydrogen gas at 10,000 degrees Celsius, blue to carbon at 32,000 degrees Celsius, green to oxygen at 320,000 degrees Celsius, and yellow to neon at 630,000 degrees Celsius.

The Solar Orbiter mission is an international collaboration between ESA and NASA.


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