Today, 10 February 2020, at 07:03 Moscow time started the unit Solar Orbiter. He must collect a lot of information about the Sun, get close to him very close or from an unusual angle. For example, he first explores the poles of our star.
On Board of four probe of the instrument for the study of the solar wind. They will measure density, velocity, temperature, composition and the electromagnetic field of the plasma.
six instruments designed to monitor the Sun, its corona, and the areas of the solar wind to the spacecraft will not reach directly. The Orb and its surroundings will undergo study in the optical, ultraviolet and x-ray range.
the Device will get an unprecedented detailed images and make maps of plasma motion. In addition, it will remotely measure with great precision the magnetic field of the atmosphere of the star is the main factor, conducting the flow of plasma in it. Solar Orbiter will study, and the oscillation of the solar surface — the photosphere.
the Camera, armed to the teeth scientific equipment (total weight is 180 pounds!), in any case, would have collected a lot of valuable information about our star. But a truly unique mission makes it selected for the trajectory.
the Earth’s Orbit lies almost in the plane of the solar equator (the angle between them is only a few degrees). In this plane and ran almost all of the solar orbit probes. The fact that the change in the plane of the orbit is one of the most energy-consuming maneuvers for the spacecraft.
Until Solar Orbiter is only one mission took place over the poles of the Sun. This apparatus is Ulysses, who committed three orbits around the sun in 1990-2009 year. But aboard this probe did not have the tools for observation of the Sun, he studied only the surrounding solar wind. That is, the poles of our star literally did not see anybody and never. Besides Ulysses never came to the Sun significantly closer than the Earth.
the New device is designed to close this obvious gap in the knowledge of mankind. By November 2021 it will reach the point where it will start its scientific program. Using the gravity of Venus, the probe on each revolution will be to increase the angle between its orbit and the equator of the star. It is planned that for seven years, this angle will reach 24 degrees. If all goes well, the mission will be extended for another three years, and during that time it will increase to 33 degrees.
in addition, Solar Orbiter will gradually approach the Sun. At the point of closest approach it will be 3.6 times closer to the star than the Earth is, and 1.4 times closer than mercury. At this point, the distance will be only about 60 solar radii.
the Animation below shows the orbit of the Earth, Venus, mercury and the Solar Orbiter (each new round the last is white).
Closer than a new unit, our star was chosen only recently launched probe Parker. By the way, astronomers plan to compare the data of these two outstanding missions to get more complete information on the Sun and solar wind.
in this rendezvous with the sun, Solar Orbiter will experience heating to 520 degrees Celsius. To protect the fragile electronics, the engineers have provided a titanium shield coated with calcium phosphate. He constantly pointed towards the Sun, and remote sensing will see a star in the intentionally left of the “Windows”.
Recall that recently the “Conduct.Science” talked about only in its infancy solar telescope record size.