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ASO-S additionally passes Kuafu-1, in honor of a large in Chinese language mythology who chased the Solar with the will to catch and tame it. The satellite tv for pc will observe from a sun-synchronous orbit 720 km above the Earth’s floor.
As a part of its 11-year photo voltaic cycle, the Solar produces phenomena similar to sunspots, photo voltaic flares, and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). ASO-S’s foremost directive is to check the basic physics of the Solar, observing these flares as they happen. The probe will take simultaneous readings from all of its devices, permitting scientists to higher perceive “the buildup of magnetic vitality and its eruptive launch throughout flares and CMEs.”
The mission will final no less than 4 years, mentioned Weiqun Gan, an astrophysicist on the Chinese language Academy of Sciences (CAS) Purple Mountain Observatory in Nanjing, and the mission’s chief scientist. Which means will probably be operational through the 2024-25 peak of our present photo voltaic cycle.
ASO-S to check photo voltaic climate, physics
Whereas China has launched single-instrument photo voltaic probes earlier than, Kuafu-1 tops all of them with its three-instrument suite. The orbiter carries “the Full Disk Vector Magnetograph (FMG), Exhausting X-ray Imager (HXI), and Lyman-Alpha Photo voltaic Telescope (LST),” in response to CAS.
With these devices, the orbiter can research the solar’s center corona, a area the place photo voltaic storms originate. No different photo voltaic observatory, on the bottom or in orbit, has but studied this area within the ultraviolet band. However the ASO-S orbiter may also work together with different orbiting photo voltaic observatories, similar to NASA’s Parker Photo voltaic Probe or the European House Company’s Photo voltaic Orbiter.
Whereas operational, ASO-S will produce about 5 hundred gigabytes of information daily of its four-year operational lifespan. We will not wait to see what scientists do with it, as soon as they will ship that information to their supercomputer or AI of selection. “In these peak years we are able to see a whole lot of eruptions,” Gan mentioned. What we be taught may assist us refine our fashions of relativity and quantum physics.
The ASO-S staff will take between 4 and 6 months to get the probe up and working. Later, just like the JWST, will probably be open to the general public.
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On the Shoulders of Giants: China Launches Its Own Solar Observatory