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Mission to the Sun

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Mission to the SUN: PAGE Table of Contents


Google's animation for thew August 2017 eclipse

Sun Blasts an X-Class Flare at the Earth You know the drill, the Sun has blasted a major flare at us (two in fact).
That means it's time to head out, watch the skies, and hope to see a beautiful aurora display.

Solar Interior

The interior structure of the Sun. Credit: Wikipedia Commons/kelvinsong

Peering into the solar interior.

Solar Flare March, 2015 toward the earth

The sun emitting the solar flare, seen in 304 angstrom light.
The flare was directed toward Earth, reported, and that meant it caused a bit of trouble for earthlings.
According to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center, radiation released by the flare caused a radio blackout.
Solar flares occur when magnetic energy that has built up in the solar atmosphere is suddenly released.

Holiday Lights on the Sun: Imagery of a Solar Flare

The sun emitted a significant solar flare, peaking at 7:28 p.m. EST on Dec. 19, 2014.
NASAís Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event.
Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth's atmosphere
to physically affect humans on the ground, however -- when intense enough -- they can disturb the atmosphere
in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel. This flare is classified as an X1.8-class flare.
X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength.
An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, etc.

NASA | Phoenix Prominence Eruption

Published on May 1, 2015 Over a six-hour period on April 21, 2015, NASA's Solar Dyanmics Observatory (SDO) observed a wing-like prominence eruption. SDO views the sun in various wavelengths of the extreme ultravoilet, including 171 (shown in gold) and 304 (shown in orange) angstroms. : "This video is public domain and can be downloaded Or find NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Facebook: Or find us on Twitter: Category Science & Technology

Moon Photobombs the Sun in Amazing View from NASA Spacecraft

5-Million-Degree Plasma 'Tornado' Rages on the Sun

A giant, swirling plume of superheated plasma churned above the surface of the sun for 40 hours last week
while a NASA spacecraft looked on.
NASA's sun-studying Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured dramatic time-lapse video of the solar tornado,
which raged from Sept. 1 through Sept. 3.(2015)

The Surface Of The Sun In High Resolution!!! /

The Surface Of The Sun In High Resolution!!! Tags: Space, stars, Sun, surface of the Sun, sunshine, solar flare, HD, Full HD, Sun in Full HD 1080p,
astronomy, sunspots, Venus, mercury, the transit of Venus across the disk of the Sun, sunlight, solar wind, nuclear fusion, Thermonuclear Art,



New Mission: DSCOVR Satellite will Monitor the Solar Wind

Artistís concept of the DSCOVR satellite, which will provide real-time solar wind monitoring to the National Weather Service. Credit: NOAA
Solar wind Ė that is, the stream of charged electrons and protons that are released from the upper atmosphere of the Sun Ė
is a constant in our Solar System and generally not a concern for us Earthlings. However, on occasion a solar wind shock wave or
Coronal Mass Ejection can occur, disrupting satellites, electronics systems, and even sending harmful radiation to the surface.

Amazing Views of Todayís Total Solar Eclipse From EarthÖ and Space by DAVID DICKINSON on MARCH 20, 2015

The view of todayís eclipse (03-20-2015)from low Earth orbit. Credit: ESA/Proba-2.
Thereís an old Robert Heinlein saying that goes ďclimate is what you expect, weather is what you get,Ē
And the weather certainly kept folks guessing right up until the start of todayís eclipse. And though much of the
UK and tracks along the Faroe Islands were clouded out, folks who made the trek up to Svalbard were treated to a fine view of totality,
while observers across Europe caught stages of the eclipse through its partial phases.
Many more managed to capture glimpses of the eclipse thanks to our good friends over at Slooh and the Virtual Telescope project.

This Video About Solar Superstorms is Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch and It Looks Awesome.
by JASON MAJOR on JUNE 2, 2015

Whatís better than a full 180-degree digital theater experience that takes you into the heart of our Sun
to see how solar storms form? Why, all of that accompanied by a rumbling narration by Benedict Cumberbatch, of course.

NuSTAR Stares at the Sun

Flaring, active regions of our sun are highlighted in this new image combining observations from several telescopes.
High-energy X-rays from NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) are shown in blue; low-energy X-rays from Japan's Hinode
spacecraft are green; and extreme ultraviolet light from NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is yellow and red. All three telescopes captured their solar images around the same time on April 29, 2015. The NuSTAR image is a mosaic
made from combining smaller images. The active regions across the sunís surface contain material heated to several millions of degrees.
The blue-white areas showing the NuSTAR data pinpoint the most energetic spots. During the observations, microflares went off,
which are smaller versions of the larger flares that also erupt from the sun's surface. The microflares rapidly release energy and heat
the material in the active regions.
NuSTAR typically stares deeper into the cosmos to observe X-rays from supernovas, black holes and other extreme objects.
But it can also look safely at the sun and capture images of its high-energy X-rays with more sensitivity than before.
Scientists plan to continue to study the sun with NuSTAR to learn more about microflares, as well as hypothesized nanoflares,
which are even smaller.
In this image, the NuSTAR data shows X-rays with energies between 2 and 6 kiloelectron volts; the Hinode data, which is from the X-ray Telescope
instrument, has energies of 0.2 to 2.4 kiloelectron volts; and the Solar Dynamics Observatory data, taken using the Atmospheric
Imaging Assembly instrument, shows extreme ultraviolet light with wavelengths of 171 and 193 Angstroms.
Note the green Hinode image frame edge does not extend as far as the SDO ultraviolet image, resulting in the green portion
of the image being truncated on the right and left sides.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC/JAXA Last Updated: July 30, 2015 Editor: Tony Greicius

Giant Filament Seen on the Sun -- Feb. 10, 2015

NASA's Heliophysics Gallery

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NASA | Highlights from SOHO's 20 Years in Space

The Solar Heliospheric Observatory at 20

Solar cycle #23 as seen via SOHO, and an artistís conception of the observatory in space.
All images credit of NASA/ESA/SOHO

Published on Dec 1, 2015 Dr. Joe Gurman of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center provides commentary on selected shots from SOHO's 20 years in space.
After 20 years in space, ESA and NASAís Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO, is still going strong. Originally launched in 1995
to study the sun and its influence out to the very edges of the solar system, SOHO revolutionized this field of science, known as heliophysics,
providing the basis for nearly 5,000 scientific papers. SOHO also found an unexpected role as the greatest comet hunter of all
timeóreaching 3,000 comet discoveries in September 2015.
When SOHO was launched on Dec. 2, 1995, the field of heliophysics looked very different than it does today.
Questions about the interior of the sun, the origin of the constant outflow of material from the sun known as the solar wind,
and the mysterious heating of the solar atmosphere were still unanswered. Twenty years later, not only do we have a much better
idea about what powers the sun, but our entire understanding of how the sun behaves has changed.
This video is public domain and can be downloaded Like our videos? Subscribe to NASA's Goddard Shorts HD podcast: Or find NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Facebook Or find us on Twitter Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

NASA/ESA SOHO - Launch, December 2, 1995

Uploaded on Dec 2, 2011 Happy 16th SOHO! Launched December 2, 1995, SOHO has been giving us a 24/7 eye on the Sun for about 1 1/2 solar activity cycles.
It has allowed us to see the Sun as it has never been seen before. Though some of the instruments have now been replaced by SDO many
of its 12 instruments are still in operation, especially the LASCO C2 and C3 coronagraphs which are still vital in our daily monitoring of the Sun. Credit: NASA / ESA SOHO Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

SOHO Solar Images From Oct. 2003.

Published on May 14, 2013 This is a collection of images taken by the instruments on-board the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory' (SOHO)
of solar flare associated with the Halloween Storm of 2003. It starts with is a zoomed in view of the flare then shifts
to a full solar disk view. This is followed by the LASCO C2 coronograph view and then the LASCO C3 coronograph view.
The coronographic view end when the CCD sensors are overwhelm by the ejected solar particles.
This is the largest solar flare of the space age to date.
Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

A massive sunspot witnessed by SOHO in 2000, compared to the Earth.

A Ďneatí imageÖ Comet NEAT photobombs the view of SOHOís LASCO C3 camera.

SDO: Year 6 Ultra-HD.

Published on Feb 12, 2016 The sun is always changing and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory is always watching. Launched on Feb. 11, 2010,
SDO keeps a 24-hour eye on the entire disk of the sun, with a prime view of the graceful dance of solar material
coursing through the sun's atmosphere, the corona. SDO's sixth year in orbit was no exception.
This video shows that entire sixth year -- from Jan. 1, 2015, to Jan. 28, 2016, as one time-lapse sequence.
At full quality on YouTube, this video is ultra-high definition 3840x2160 and 29.97 frames per second. Each frame represents 2 hours.
A downloadable version has a frame rate of 59.94 with each frame representing 1 hour. See below for the link.
SDO's Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) captures a shot of the sun every 12 seconds in 10 different wavelengths.
The images shown here are based on a wavelength of 171 angstroms, which is in the extreme ultraviolet range and
shows solar material at around 600,000 kelvins (about 1,079,540 degrees F). In this wavelength it is easy to see the sun's 25-day rotation.
During the course of the video, the sun subtly increases and decreases in apparent size. This is because the distance between the
SDO spacecraft and the sun varies over time. The image is, however, remarkably consistent and stable despite the fact that SDO
orbits Earth at 6,876 mph, and Earth orbits the sun at 67,062 mph.
Scientists study these images to better understand the complex electromagnetic system causing the constant movement on the sun,
which can ultimately have an effect closer to Earth, too: Flares and another type of solar explosion called coronal mass ejections
can sometimes disrupt technology in space. Moreover, studying our closest star is one way of learning about other stars in the galaxy.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, built, operates and manages the SDO spacecraft for NASA's Science
Mission Directorate in Washington, D.C. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/Wiessinger Music: "Tides," a track available from Killer Tracks Learn more about SDO and see more imagery: and This video is public domain. It can be downloaded at its full quality and frame rate at: Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

Seeing Double: NASA Missions Measure Solar Flare from 2 Spots in Space.

During a December 2013 solar flare, three NASA missions observed a current sheet form Ė a strong clue for explaining what initiates the flares.
This animation shows four views of the flare from NASAís Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASAís Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory,
and JAXA/NASAís Hinode, allowing scientists to make unprecedented measurements of its characteristics.
The current sheet is a long, thin structure, especially visible in the views on the left.
Those two animations depict light emitted by material with higher temperatures, so they better show the extremely hot current sheet.
Credits: NASA/JAXA/SDO/STEREO/Hinode (courtesy Zhu, et al.) These eruptions on the sun eject radiation in all directions.

NASA's SDO Captures Images of a Mid-Level Solar Flare

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this imagery of a solar flare Ė as seen in the bright flash Ė
around 8:30 p.m. EDT on April 17, 2016. A loop of solar material can also be seen rising up off the right limb of the sun.
Credits: NASA/SDO/Goddard

It's Spaceweather!!


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Future Missions to the SUN


Future Missions to the SUN: FROM ESA.

Bella Browny ē 8 hours ago European Space Agency plans to launch a solar orbiter in 2017 that will
come as close as 26 million miles to the sun. #space #sun

Future Missions to the SUN: FROM NASA/ESA.

Future Mission to the SUN: The Parker Mission.

Image: Payload accommodation onboard Solar Orbiter. In this rendering, one side wall has been removed to expose the remote-sensing instruments mounted on the payload panel. The SPICE [Spectral Imaging of the Coronal Environment} instrument (not visible) is mounted to the top panel from below. Credit: ESA. What Solar Orbiter brings to the mix is an orbit that will allow us to get close-up views of the Sunís polar regions, with images from latitudes higher than 25 degrees. We should be able to see solar storms building up over an extended period from the same vantage point, because when traveling at the highest velocity along its orbit, Solar Orbiter will come close to matching the speed of the Sunís rotation on its axis. We will be able to track solar storms for days. Remember that many of the Sunís jets originate in the areas around the poles, meaning we need more data about the magnetic field and plasma flows there to delve more fully into the process. These are not regions that are visible to us from Earth.

ESA's Solar Orbiter will capture the very first images of the Sunís polar regions, where magnetic tension builds up and releases in a lively dance. Credits: Spacecraft: ESA/ATG medialab; Sun: NASA/SDO/P. Testa (CfA)

Flying Into the Sun? NASA's Parker Solar Probe Mission

Published on Jun 13, 2017 NASA is planning a mission to get as close as possible as we can to the Sun and reveal its mysteries. Support us at: More stories at: Follow us on Twitter: @universetoday Like us on Facebook: Google+ - Instagram - Team: Fraser Cain - @fcain / Karla Thompson - @karlaii Chad Weber - If youíve watched enough of our videos, you know Iíve got an uneasy alliance with the Sun. Sure, it provides the energy we need for all life on Earth. But, itís a great big ongoing thermonuclear reaction, and itís right there! As soon as we get fusion, Sun, in like, 30 years or so, I tell you, weíll be the ones laughing.

Parker Solar Probeís trajectory including Venus flybys. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

Hereís the First Image of the Sun from the Parker Solar Probe

The Parker Solar Probeís WISPR (Wide-field Imager for Solar Probe) instrument captured this image of a coronal streamer on Nov. 8th, 2018. Coronal streamers are structures of solar material within the Sunís atmosphere, the corona, that usually overlie regions of increased solar activity. The fine structure of the streamer is very clear, with at least two rays visible. The bright object near the center of the image is Mercury, and the dark spots are a result of background correction. Credits: NASA/Naval Research Laboratory/Parker Solar Probe

NASA's Parker Solar Probe Sends Back Image Taken Inside Sun's Atmosphere

NASA's Parker Solar Probe has sent back a remarkable image.

via Gfycat

This was a FIRST! - Unprecedented view of Sun AND something else

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The Ars Technica article on the Parker Mission

Coronal holes are regions in the sunís atmosphere or corona where solar plasma can stream directly into space. Often a hole will a couple rotations, inciting repeat auroras approximately every 4 weeks. Credit: NASA

Parker Solar Probeís instruments. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL

The Parker Solar Probe orbiting the Sun.(Artist conception) Credit: NASA/JHUAPL


NASAís Parker Solar Probe will launch this summer(2018) and study both the solar wind and unanswered questions about the Sunís sizzling corona. Credit:

The Parker Solar Probe will use seven Venus flybys over nearly seven years to gradually shrink its orbit around the Sun, coming as close as 3.7 million miles (5.9 million km), well within the orbit of Mercury. Closest approaches (called perihelia) will happen in late December 2024 and the first half of 2025 before the mission ends. Credit:

During the probeís closest approach, the Sunís apparent diameter will span 14į of sky. Compare that to the Ĺį Sun we see from Earth. Can you imagine how hot the Sunís rays would be if it were this large from Earth? Life as we know it would be over. Credit: Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

NASAís Parker Solar Probe will be the first-ever mission to "touch" the sun. The spacecraft, about the size of a small car, will travel directly into the sun's atmosphere about 4 million miles from our star's surface. Launch is slated for summer 2018. Credit: The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory This video is public domain. Learn more about the Parker Solar Probe:

This video is public domain and along with other supporting visualizations can be downloaded from the Scientific Visualization Studio at: If you liked this video, subscribe to the NASA Goddard YouTube channel: Or subscribe to NASAís Goddard Shorts HD Podcast: Follow NASAís Goddard Space Flight Center ∑ Facebook:Twitter FlickrInstagramGoogle+ Category Science & Technology License Standard YouTube License

Illustration of the Parker Solar Probe spacecraft approaching the Sun. Credits: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Artistís impression of a solar flare erupting from the Sunís surface. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Solar Probe Plus will move in a highly elliptical orbit, using seven gravity assists from Venus to move it closer to the Sun with each pass. Solar Orbiter will use Earth and Venus gravity assists to move into a relatively circular orbit and climb up and out of the ecliptic plane to capture the first images of the Sunís poles. Credit: NASAís Goddard Space Flight Centerís Scientific Visualization Studio Visualization Credits Tom Bridgman (GST): Lead Animator Scott Wiessinger (USRA): Producer This video is public domain and may be downloaded at: Category Science & Technology

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