We were imaging the new ESA Sun explorer Solar Orbiter, with Metis (the Multi-Wavelength Coronagraph) on board, travelling into deep space looking for the Sun to capture the secrets of its full corona.
Just one year ago, on 10th February 2020, Solar Orbiter was launched from Cape Canaveral (Florida, USA).
But how is its journey proceeding? And where is it now?
Solar Orbiter at the moment is at 92 million km far from the star’s surface (and 208 million km from the Earth!). It will reach the closest point to Sun at 42 million km next year.
Solar Orbiter’s routine science operations are scheduled to begin in November 2021, but meanwhile Metis has been successfully verified and tested and has also taken its first images. Here under you can find the first simultaneous pictures of the corona taken in both visible light and ultraviolet light.
Observations obtained with Metis will enable to diagnose, with unprecedented temporal coverage and spatial resolution, the structures and dynamics of the full corona.