NASA is all set to take the first images of ‘Sun’s Pole’. The American space agency along with European Space Agency (ESA) is planning to launch a mission. The mission named ‘Solar Orbiter’, would travel to the Sun to capture the first pictures of its north and south poles.
The spacecraft is all set for a launch from Cape Canaveral on February 7, 2020, at 11:15 PM. The spacecraft would be using the gravity of Venus and Earth to swing itself out of the ecliptic plane. Once the spacecraft is out of the ecliptic plane, it will proceed to snap the first-ever look at the Sun’s poles with its bird’s eye view, said NASA.
The findings from the mission would help scientists better understand Sun’s magnetic field. This would lead to better preparation for solar storms that would hit the earth in the future.
Only prior spacecraft to fly over the Sun’s poles was ‘Ulysses spacecraft’. It was also a joint effort of ESA and NASA and was launched in 1990. The spacecraft made 3 passes around the Sun before being decommissioned in 2009.
While Ulysses never got closer than Earth-distance to the Sun, the Solar Orbiter will pass inside the orbit of Mercury carrying four in situ instruments and six remote-sensing imagers. The mission would be the closest Sun-facing cameras have ever gotten to the Sun.
Inputs from Indian Express