We’ve never imaged the Sun’s surface from that close. Solar Orbiter will change that

In February 10, 2020, Solar Orbiter, the new ESA's Sun-exploring mission built in collaboration with NASA, was successfully launched atop an ULA Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida. Equipped with ten instruments, six for remote sensing and four for in-situ measurements of the solar heliospheric conditions, it will get as close as 0.28 astronomical units (or 42 million kilometres) to the Sun in a mission that can last more than ten years. The Solar Orbiter will be the first of its kind to take the closest pictures ever of the Sun at EUV and visible wavelengths. Moreover, it will be the first to explore the Sun’s top or bottom from a heliographic latitude above 30 degree. Among their instruments, the Polarimetric and Helioseismic Imager (SOPHI) is the first solar polarimeter to leave the Sun-Earth line, opening up a new world of scientific possibilities. SOPHI is a genuine instrument of huge engineering importance with the most cutting-edge and innovative technologies. With its full-disk and a high-resolution telescopes, SOPHI will allow observations at very high spatial resolution (~200km) on the solar surface while doing full Stokes polarimetry in visible wavelengths. The SOPHI instrument is jointly led by the German Max Planck For Solar System Research (MPS - Göttingen) and a Spanish consortium led by the Solar Physics Group of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía..

In this talk I will introduce Solar Orbiter, describe the SOPHI instrument and show the first results coming from SOPHI whose commissioning has successfully ended in 2020.

22/10/2020 - 12:30
Dr. David Orozco