The STEREO space mission has two spacecraft. Each spacecraft has a different view of the Sun. Scientists can put together pictures from the two different viewing angles. They can make 3D views of the Sun and of space weather "storms" this way.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) Space Mission
STEREO is a NASA
space mission to study the Sun. STEREO stands for Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory. STEREO also studies huge space weather storms from the Sun called Coronal Mass Ejections (CME).
STEREO blasted off in October 2006. There are actually two STEREO spacecraft that are pretty much twins. After launch, the two spacecraft flew by the Moon on slightly different paths. The Moon's gravity changed the directions the spacecraft. One was flung forward along Earth's orbit around the Sun. The other spacecraft was steered backward along Earth's orbit.
You can see things in 3D because you have two eyes that are a little bit apart. The two STEREO spacecraft can see the Sun and CMEs in 3D because STEREO's "eyes" (the cameras on the two spacecraft) are far apart. Scientists can combine pictures from the two STEREO spacecraft to create 3D stereoscopic images of the Sun.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist
specimens, and educational games
You might also be interested in:
You know, of course, that certain conditions in the Earth's atmosphere can cause powerful storms like thunderstorms, blizzards, tornadoes, and hurricanes. The Sun also has an atmosphere, and incredible...more
"Without warning, the relatively calm solar atmosphere can be torn asunder by sudden outbursts of a scale unknown on Earth. Catastrophic events of incredible energy...stretch up to halfway across the visible...more
Have you ever wondered what you are made of? Where did the elements come from that make up your body? The elements that make up your body are the same elements found on the Earth. Where did those Earth...more
The ACE spacecraft consists of a two-deck irregular octagon, about 1.6 meters (65 inches) across and about 1 meter (40 inches) high. Eight of the scientific instruments which measure a variety of particle...more
Astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harold Schmitt were the last humans to walk on the Moon, in the final mission of the Apollo space program. Together with Ronald Evans, they lifted off on Dec. 7, 1972 aboard...more
This image shows the magnetic field polarity that Ulysses measured while traveling from the South pole to the North pole of the Sun. Blue values represent regions where the magnetic field pointed toward...more
COSPIN is one of the instruments on the Ulysses spacecraft. COSPIN stands for the COsmic and Solar Particle INvestigation. The COSPIN instrument is actually made up of 5 different sensors: the Dual Anisotropy...more
With increased confidence from the success of their Sputnik missions, the Soviet Union launched 24 Luna spacecrafts to the Moon, between 1959 and 1976. 15 were successful, each designed as either an orbiter...more