Coming soon: 3D views of the sun

The first spacecraft designed to record "stereo" views of the sun and solar wind are at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland for pre-launch testing.

The twin probes were shipped Wednesday from Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.

The nearly identical twin STEREO -- Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory -- probes were recently tested at the APL for structural integrity.

The tests simulated the ride into space the observatories will encounter during their launch aboard a Delta II rocket from Cape Canaveral next spring.

After undergoing additional pre-launch checks -- including thermal vacuum testing to duplicate the extreme temperature and airless conditions of space -- the STEREO observatories will be moved to Florida in March for final launch preparations.

During their two-year mission, the observatories will explore the origin, evolution and interplanetary consequences of coronal mass ejections.

To obtain "stereo" views of the sun, the observatories must be placed in different orbits where they're offset from each other and the Earth.

One observatory will be placed ahead of the Earth's orbit and the other behind. That placement will allow the STEREO observatories to obtain 3-D images and particle measurements of the sun.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International


Explore further

NASA's STEREO-A resumes normal operations

Citation: Coming soon: 3D views of the sun (2005, November 10) retrieved 27 November 2020 from https://phys.org/news/2005-11-3d-views-sun.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments