Solar Orbiter reveals first Sol images

Today, ESA (European Space Agency) released the first ever images from their Solar Orbiter.

Solar Orbiter is designed to operate near to the Sun. At just over one-quarter of the distance the Earth is from the Sun. It will experience sunlight thirteen times greater than what we feel on Earth! Even more hazardous are the powerful bursts of atomic particles blasted out from explosions in the Sun’s atmosphere.

The Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) on ESA’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft took these images on 30 May 2020. They show the Sun’s appearance at a wavelength of 17 nanometers, which is in the extreme ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum.| image: Solar Orbiter/EUI Team/ ESA & NASA; CSL, IAS, MPS, PMOD/WRC, ROB, UCL/MSSL

It’s getting hot in here

Getting so close to the Sun is necessary for Solar Orbiter to fulfill its mission. It can provide us the first ever views of the uncharted top and bottom of the Sun. It will also investigate connections between the Sun and Earth. This will assist us to predict stormy space weather. Which can have an effect on our home planet. Braving the heat will enable Solar Orbiter to find out about a mysterious region near the Sun. Known as the inner-heliosphere.

This image is a mosaic of four separate images from four separate detectors, obtained during the instrument’s ‘first light’ on 5 June 2020. Then, Solar Orbiter was at a distance of 0.5 astronomical units (AU; one AU is equivalent to the average distance from Earth to the Sun, about 150 million kilometres) from the Sun. You can see Mercury in the lower bottom edge of the top-left mosaic | image: Solar Orbiter/SoloHI Team/ ESA & NASA; U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

Scientists are particularly excited by means of the photographs that Solar Orbiter have taken. These give wonderful close-up views of glowing gas loops as small as 180 km-across – tiny in contrast to the whole Sun!

Full gallery on ESA’s website here -> https://www.esa.int/ESA_Multimedia/Sets/Solar_Orbiter_first_images/(result_type)/images

Jon Van Horne
Jon Van Horne

He began his career in media as a multimedia designer and developer in Montreal, Quebec. He developed a passion for media during his job in Photography and Video at a Montreal media content company. Other passions in media, photography/videography and soon going back to school in engineering.

reference: ESA