Solar Orbiter: An example of an international collaboration

Solar Orbiter is a space mission of international collaboration between ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA. Solar Orbiter was launched on February 9th 2020 from Cape Canaveral, FL onboard of an Atlas V 411 rocket. This event signified the success of the diplomatic, economical, technological, and scientific effort of many countries and two space agencies to achieve a common goal. The outcomes from this mission will aid to the scientific community to better understand the Sun and the heliosphere, but also will make important contributions to develop more reliable Space Weather capabilities.

The mission is currently in the nominal phase, placed into an elliptical orbit around the sun and coming as close to 26 million miles away from the star every five months. We are now heading to the 7th Sun encounter with the maximum approach to the Sun of 0.29 AU on October 2023. Around the perihelium all in situ instruments are providing information on the interplanetary environment, while the telescopes will observe the Sun and heliosphere. Solar Orbiter combines remote sensing and in situ measurements of the Sun, the solar wind plasma, fields, waves, and energetic particles from new vantage points — both close to the Sun and at high latitude — to observe solar processes that are still relatively pristine and have not had their properties modified by subsequent transport and propagation processes.

The mission teams instruments are working to provide the best quality data and observations to the scientific community. This information will serve to address the central question of heliophysics: How does the sun create and control the giant bubble of magnetic fields around it, the heliosphere? During this seminar I will present some of the milestones reached by the mission and the contribution to answer these scientific questions.

13/07/2023 - 11:00
Dr. Teresa Nieves Chinchilla