ESA?s new Sun-explorer, Solar Orbiter, will capture close-up images of never before seen regions of our parent star, including the poles, and study the electromagnetic environment in its vicinity. The cutting-edge spacecraft will get as close as 42 million kilometres away from the Sun, about a quarter of the distance between the Sun and Earth, and face scorching temperatures of up to 500?C.
ESA has a long history of studying the Sun from space. Since the launch of Ulysses in 1990, the agency has led or cooperated on several Sun-exploring missions including SOHO, the Cluster quartet and Proba-2.
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