Snapshots from the Edge of the Sun
For the first time, using NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, or STEREO, scientists have imaged the edge of the sun and described that transition – from which the solar wind blows. Defining the details of this boundary helps us learn more about our solar neighborhood, which is bathed throughout by solar material – a space environment that we must understand to safely explore beyond our planet. A paper on the findings was published in The Astrophysical Journal on Sept. 1, 2016.
GIF showing the before (left) and after (right) video of the solar wind, as seen by NASA's STEREO spacecraft. Scientists used an algorithm to dim the appearance of bright stars and dust in images of the faint solar wind. This innovation enabled them to see the transition from the corona to the solar wind. It also gives us the first video of the solar wind itself in a previously unmapped region.
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center