Museum of Science and Industry

I’ve always suspected that the sun was up to something. Have you ever noticed that you can’t look directly at it? It hurts. Which means that it can get away with whatever it wants! For now. Soon we’ll be able to see what that sneaky old star is up to, thanks to a joint mission between NASA and the European Space Agency launching in 2017.

The mission will send a Solar Orbiter, called SolO, closer to the sun than we’ve ever been before, to do things like explore the sun’s poles and study close-up surface features. SolO will have to be built to endure temperatures upwards of 500 degrees Fahrenheit (260º Celsius) and other effects of the intense solar radiation. But hopefully this mission will help us to predict future solar storms, which can interfere with communications and power distribution. The dog days are over, sun - we’ve got our eye on you.

Image: NASA

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