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Solar Orbiter

When we think of the sun we tend to think of one uniform mass of heat with no discernible feature...

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14.04 8 Feb 2020


Solar Orbiter



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14.04 8 Feb 2020


When we think of the sun we tend to think of one uniform mass of heat with no discernible features to speak of.

The fact is that the surface of the sun is changing constantly as the hot plasma within rises to the surface, cools and sinks in a process called convection, bubbling like water in a boiling pot.

But it may not all be like this, in fact we know comparatively little about the poles of the sun and it is with the launch of the Solar Orbiter that we may soon remedy that.

A joint Nasa and European Space Agency mission, it will reach its vantage point above the sun by the end of 2021 and it is hoped will give us new insights into the nature of the star at the centre of our Solar System.

Peter Gallagher from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) joins Jonathan to tell us more.


Read more about

Aurora Borealis DIAS ESA Heat Magnetic Field NASA Parker Probe Planetary Plane Probe Solar Orbiter Solar System Spacecraft Sun

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