The Sun 10 years in STEREO

Early October 26, 2006 the two STEREO spacecraft were launched. The twin spacecraft had to observe the Sun in stereo.  Both have a similar orbit as the earth, one ahead, the other trailing behind.

In the 10 years that passed, STEREO was of special help to forecast space weather. Especially at the time STEREO A was situated on the right side of the Sun and STEREO B on the left, viewed from Earth. This was a privileged position to follow solar clouds travelling direction Earth. A side view makes it easier to estimate the speed of an object. When an object is travelling exactly along the line connecting you and the object, it is even hard to say if it is towards or away from you!

Once the two spacecraft were on the far side of the Sun, we had an excellent view on the far side of the Sun. Since the Sun turns around its axis, it gave a valuable preview on what was going to happen days later.

Of course, we can’t let 10 years of STEREO just pass like that. During the tutorial at the European Space Weather Week, two key persons will be interviewed. We want to learn all about the human interest stuff there is. Science is written down in papers, but the juicy stories not. 

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