Sun  ID: 3809

STEREO Achieves Full Solar Coverage: All the Sun. All the Time

When the two STEREO spacecraft move into positions on opposite sides of the Sun, we will have the capability to see a full 360 degrees around the solar sphere (there will probably still be some gaps in visibility near the poles of the Sun). Combined with solar observing satellites near the Earth, such as SDO and SOHO, this coverage will last for about eight years and the STEREO spacecraft move along in their orbits.

This movie illustrates the orbital motions of the two STEREO spacecraft relative to the Earth (and noting the positions of the planets Mercury & Venus for reference). The camera occupies a position fixed relative to the Earth and Sun, so the distant starfield appears to spin around the observer.

Because the frames are sampled at one per solar day, the Earth does not appear to rotate, but patient observation reveals that the tilt of the planet relative to the Sun, varies throughout the year, with the northern hemisphere tilted towards the Sun in northern hemisphere summer and away from the Sun in northern hemisphere winter.

Visualization Credits

Tom Bridgman (GST): Lead Animator
Scott Wiessinger (UMBC): Producer
Joe Gurman (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Therese Kucera (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
William T. Thompson (ADNET): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

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Data Used:
SOHO/Extreme-UV Imaging Telescope (EIT)/304 Filter
STEREO/Extreme UltraViolet Imager (EUVI)/304 Angstroms
SDO/AIA/304 Filter
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of this series:
Sun 360

NASA Science >> Sun
SVS >> Extreme Ultraviolet Imaging
SVS >> EUV Imaging