Earths Entire Star for the First Time on Super SUNday

Latest image of the far side of the Sun based on high resolution STEREO data, taken on February 3, 2011 when there was still a small gap between the STEREO Ahead and Behind data. This gap will start to close on February 6, 2011, when the spacecraft achieve 180 degree separation, and will completely close over the next several days. Credit: NASA. Note this STEREO image was taken Feb. 3, and is only newly available today Feb. 6. NASA earlier today released an image taken on Feb. 2. New images are taken every day See below the two individual images taken by STEREO A and B to construct this spherical projection

Super Bowl SUNday XLV marks a watershed moment in observing our Sun. Today, February 6, 2011, NASA’s twin STEREO solar observatories will reach locations on exact opposite sides of the Sun, called opposition, and they are beaming back uninterrupted images from both the entire front and rear side hemispheres of Earths star in three dimensions and 360 degrees for the first time.

“For the first time in history we can see the entire Sun at one time – both the far side and the near side,” said Joe Gurman, in an interview for Universe Today. Gurman is the Project Scientist for NASA’s STEREO mission at the NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, MD.

To mark this historic milestone, NASA today released images captured by STEREO on Feb. 2 – slightly prior to opposition – which gives humankind our first ever global look at the whole sphere of our Suns surface and atmosphere in extreme ultraviolet light (EUV). The probes were over 179 degrees apart.

This article features even newer EUV images – compared to NASA’s press release – that were taken even closer to opposition by STEREO on Feb. 3 and today on Feb. 6 and which I downloaded from the STEREO website. (…) Read the rest of Earths Entire Star for the First Time on Super SUNday (1,107 words)

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(C) Ken Kremer for Universe Today, 2011. | Permalink | No comment | Add to del.icio.us Post

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