It's Always Better in Stereo

NASA now has satellites across from each other on both sides of the sun, at the same time. Called STEREO, these twins are helping with a major problem for modern society: the Sun.

Artist's impression of the Stereo mission

You see, the Sun has been really really quiet for the past 40 years or so. In those past 40 years... we have become a space-faring society. I mean, humans don't actually get to go up there very often, but modern society relies on space to gather and transmit enormous amounts of information. And, turns out that we have just gotten lucky. In 2012 (yes, 2012) the sun is expected to enter a new phase, where solar activity returns to historically more normal levels, and many of our satellites are likely to get fried like the ketchup on the leftover burger you tried to heat in a microwave.

The two satellites will gradually move towards the side of the sun away from earth, to look back and us and see the solar winds and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) headed our way.

No comments:

Post a Comment