This coronagraph image shows a coronal mass ejection escaping the Sun, which is occluded behind the black circle at the center of the image. STEREO-A imaged this Earth-directed CME eruption on July 17, 2023. The CME was captured by the COR2 instrument on STEREO-A at the highest cadence (2.5 mins) ever achieved by a coronagraph.
Credits: NASA/STEREO-A/SECCHI/Angelos Vourlidas
The STEREO mission, launched in 2006 with Meshed LUXFilm® Polyimide/ Aluminum and meshed Aluminum on the SECCHI instrument. It revolutionized our understanding of the Sun by providing the first stereoscopic view of our closest star. STEREO-A and STEREO-B successfully achieved a 180-degree separation in their orbits, allowing humanity to witness the Sun as a complete sphere for the first time. Despite losing contact with STEREO-B in 2014, STEREO-A continues to capture invaluable solar views. In August 2023, as STEREO-A completes a full revolution around the Sun, scientists are capitalizing on this opportunity to gather important data. By combining views with other observatories, such as SOHO and SDO, STEREO-A is able to achieve a unique stereoscopic vision and extract 3D information from solar images. This mission has truly revolutionized our understanding of the Sun and opened new possibilities for scientific exploration.