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First 360 View of the SUN on Super Bowl SUNday

The Sun - Full View
The Sun - Full View
Latest image of the far side of the Sun based on high resolution STEREO data, taken on February 3, 2011 when there was still a small gap between the STEREO Ahead and Behind data. This gap will start to close on February 6, 2011, when the spacecraft achieve 180 degree separation, and will completely close over the next several days. Credit: NASA

Yesterday NASA marked a historic milestone after releasing  images of the Sun’s front and back.  These views are the result of observations by NASA’s two Solar TErrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft. The duo are on diametrically opposite sides of the sun, 180 degrees apart. One is ahead of Earth in its orbit, the other trailing behind.  This gives us humankind our first ever global look at the whole sphere of our Sun’s surface and atmosphere.  For the first time in history we can see the entire Sun at one time – both the far side and the near side.


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