A Look Back at the Best Spaceflight Images From September

A new way to view the Sun

A new way to view the Sun

Scientists adapted a camera on the Solar Orbiter probe to investigate seldom-seen areas of the Sun’s atmosphere. By modifying the Solar Orbiter’s Extreme Ultraviolet Imager (EUI) with a clever hack, they managed to block the overpowering light from the Sun, highlighting the subtle light of its atmosphere instead.

The modification involved adding a “thumb” to a safety door on the EUI. When the door is partially opened, this thumb acts as a shield, blocking the intense sunlight from the Sun’s central disc and allowing the weaker ultraviolet light from the corona to be visible. This technique has produced a unique ultraviolet image of the Sun’s corona, a region typically overshadowed by the Sun’s brightness and primarily visible during total solar eclipses.

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