Solar Orbiter – a journey towards the Sun: exploring the Sun and space weather
Prof. Louise Harra, University College London
This talk will describe the drivers behind the European Space Agency Solar Orbiter space mission which will be launched in February 2019.
”In February 2019, a spacecraft will be launched from Cape Canaveral to explore unknown territory in our solar system. It will take 3 years to reach its destination, where it will get closer to the Sun than ever before, slowly creeping out of the ecliptic plane to peer down at the poles of the Sun. This is the first-time sensitive telescopes have been taken into this searingly hot zone. I will describe the mission’s goals, how we will get there, and why we are doing it. This is a challenging mission, and one of the reasons why it’s being done is to understand where, why and how winds and eruptions leave the Sun, and impact us here on Earth. I will describe the reliance we all have in our day to day lives that can be disrupted by the Sun’s activity, and how in a few years’ time, we’ll not only be looking at weather forecast, but also space weather forecasts.”
Booking in advance advisable.