Feeds

Japan's Solar-B satellite ready for lift off

Space weather research

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The Japanese Space Agency's (JAXA) Solar-B mission is set to launch tonight from the Uchinoura Space Centre in Japan. The satellite, which will study the solar surface for clues to the causes of solar flares, will be placed into a 96 minute polar orbit around Earth.

Currently, the mechanics of solar flares are reasonably well understood, but solar physicists would like to be able to make better predictions about when they are most likely to occur. Solar-B is designed to shed new light on the events immediately preceding each eruption, which should lead to better predictions.

"With its three advanced and highly sensitive telescopes (visible, X-ray and ultraviolet), Solar-B will be able to study the solar magnetic field at scales smaller than ever before, and connect its behaviour to the energetic and powerful processes at work on the Sun," said Bernhard Fleck, the European Space Agency's (ESA's) SOHO project scientist.

He added that the Solar-B project would tie in well with existing solar observatories, such as SOHO. SOHO has been studying the sun for more than a decade.

"Thanks to ESA's and Norway's participation in Solar-B, the European scientific community will now have access to a completely new set of data, complementary to that of SOHO," he said.

ESA and Norway will be providing ground station coverage for the satellite at the Svalbard Satellite Station (SvalSat) on Norway's Svalbard Islands. SvalSat is the only ground station in the world that can be used for every single orbit of Solar-B and will receive the satellite data for each of its 15 daily orbits.

The craft will be set in an orbit synchronised with the Earth's revolution around the Sun. This will allow the spacecraft to be in continuous sunlight for at least nine months a year during the planned mission duration of three years, maximising its observation times.

The probe is set to lift off tonight, at 11pm, British Summer Time. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.