NASA/ESA Solar Orbiter

This almost escaped my notice.

Heliospheric science is one of the extremely important activities that NASA does that few usually notice. Some of the things the Sun does can bring danger to astronauts in space, orbiting satellites, and even power grids on the ground. NASA has several satellites in Solar orbit, various Lagrange points, and on Earth to keep closer track of our closest star.

The Sun is a stable, G2V type, yellow dwarf star roughly 4.6 billion years old. It provides full-spectrum lighting to the planets in the solar system and no life would exist on Earth without it. I would name all of the various orbiting observatories studying it, but it is an extensive list…so I’ll just have you click here.

Launched on an Atlas V rocket Sunday night at 11pm ET, the joint NASA/ESA Solar Orbiter project will study the impact of the Sun on the Solar system atmosphere, as well as the Sun’s powerful and dynamic magnetic field. It’s orbit will also allow it to take images and other studies of the Sun’s poles.

These increased solar system studies missions continue to ramp humanity up to the level of knowledge necessary to safely and reliably begin sending humans outside of close Earth orbit. Solar flares from the Sun cause dangerous radiation spikes and electrical interference that the Earth protects us from but endangers spacecraft flying outside of the Earth’s protective magnetic field. A better understanding of the Sun also helps climate science on Earth and Planetary science elsewhere.


~ by Bill Housley on February 11, 2020.

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