First images from ESA's Solar Orbiter

The first images from ESA/NASA's new Sun-observing spacecraft Solar Orbiter were released to the public on 16 July 2020. It carries 10 scientific instruments, including the Photospheric-Helioseismic Imager (PHI) for which KIS has built an Image Stabilization System (ISS).

A close-up image taken with the Polarimetric and Helioseismic Imager (PHI) High Resolution Telescope on ESA’s Solar Orbiter on 28 May 2020. The area is approximately 200 000 km x 200 000 km across and is centred on the middle of the Sun. It shows the Sun’s granulation pattern that results from the movement of hot plasma under the Sun’s visible surface.

The ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter mission was launched on 10 February 2020. It carries 10 scientific instruments, including the Photospheric-Helioseismic Imager (PHI) for which KIS has built an Image Stabilization System (ISS). In mid-June Solar Orbiter completed its commissioning phase and performed its first close approach to the Sun.  The international science teams behind the mission’s 10 instruments were able to test the entire instrument suite. All instruments performed to their specification. The first images of the Sun taken by the Solar Orbiter from a close distance as never before are released by ESA at this link:

https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Solar_Orbiter/Watch_Solar_Orbiter_first_image_release

Below you can view animated sequences from there.

More information on Solar Orbiter can be found at: https://www.esa.int/solarorbiter

The Solar Orbiter PHI/ISS team at KIS includes: Reiner Volkmer, Wolfgang Schmidt, Eiji Nakai, Thorsten Maue, with contributions  of the technical and administration departments.