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News from the far side of the Sun

NASA’s Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory Ahead (STEREO-A) spacecraft collects images in several wavelengths of light that are invisible to the human eye. The image above shows the Sun in wavelengths of 171 angstroms, which are typically coluorised in blue.

STEREO-A has been on the far side of the Sun since 24 March, collecting and saving data from its radio instrument until it could transmit it home. The first images in more than three months were received from STEREO-A on 11 July.

STEREO is the third mission in NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Probes program (STP). The mission, launched in October 2006, has provided a unique and revolutionary view of the Sun-Earth system. The two nearly identical observatories – one ahead of Earth in its orbit, the other trailing behind – have traced the flow of energy and matter from the Sun to Earth.

You can read more on NASA’s STEREO mission website.

Bill Condie

Bill Condie

Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.

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