This image shows the dramatic difference between solar minimum and solar maximum. The picture on the left was taken in January 1996, near solar minimum. The picture on the right was taken in 1999 when the Sun was nearing solar maximum. The Sun certainly looks more active! These images were taken by the SOHO spacecraft.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of NASA/ESA
Ulysses Heads South for Solar Maximum
News story originally written on January 4, 2001
Some birds and some people head south for the winter. Well, the Ulysses space probe
has headed to the south pole of the Sun
! Bet, it's warmer there!
In order to study the top and bottom of the Sun, Ulysses makes a giant loop around the Sun. The loop goes all the way out to Jupiter! Ulysses just reached the south pole of the Sun again. It was there in 1994 too. This pass of the south pole makes Ulysses the first probe to pass the south pole twice!
Ulysses will keep studying the Sun for a while. It will return to the north pole of the Sun in October 2001.
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