Monday, 07 Feb, 2011 Science

NASA Receives First 3D Images of the Sun


The world's first 360-degree images of the sun has been recently unveiled by NASA. The current 3D view of the sun is composed of 2 probes taken on the opposite sides of the star.

It is worth mentioning that the two almost identical spacecrafts, STEREO-A and STEREO-B, reached their position yesterday and at the moment they are continuously beaming back pictures of the sun's sides. Researchers will be receiving images for another 8 years. The project is expected to help forecasters predict space weather at a higher degree of accuracy.

In order to improve space weather forecasts for airlines and satellite operators, NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center in Boulder, Colorado already makes use of 3D STEREO models of coronal mass ejections. However, improved forecasts will serve a great deal not only to these clients.

According to the STEREO program scientist Lika Guhathakurta, the 3D model of the sun will help researcher track solar storms that are heading towards other planets, which in its turn could help NASA's further missions to different planets and even asteroids, reports Gizmag. Surely, the images will also help people understand better our sun.

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