NASA and ESA scientists will present Solar Orbiter, the ESA/NASA collaboration soon to start its journey to the Sun, during a media teleconference on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020 at 2 p.m. EST.
Mission experts will discuss Solar Obiter’s uniquely tilted orbit, how the mission will capture the first images of the Sun’s North and South poles, and its ability to tackle major solar mysteries with its comprehensive suite of ten different instruments.
• Nicola Fox, director of the Heliophysics Division in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington • Chris St. Cyr, former NASA project scientist for the mission at NASA Goddard • Yannis Zouganelis, ESA deputy project scientist for Solar Orbiter at the European Space Astronomy Centre in Madrid, Spain • Anne Pacros, ESA Mission and Payload Manager
This image, captured in wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light, shows a solar flare. Solar flares are intense bursts of light radiation caused by magnetic events on the Sun, and often associated with sunspots. The light radiation from solar flares can disturb part of Earth’s atmosphere where radio signals travel, causing short-lived problems with communications systems and GPS.
Solar Orbiter’s unique perspective will give us the first clear view of the Sun’s surface near the poles. As seen here by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, measurements of the solar magnetic field — shown in black and white — are more difficult to distinguish near the edges of the Sun’s disk, limiting measurements of these regions. Solar Orbiter’s inclined orbit will give scientists the first clear measurements of the Sun’s surface at the poles, allowing measurements of the solar magnetic field and the granulation that hints at the Sun’s inner workings.