Latest star of 3D... the Sun

By Steve Connor

The first-ever view of the Sun in 3-D has been captured by NASA spacecrafts. Photo / Supplied
The first-ever view of the Sun in 3-D has been captured by NASA spacecrafts. Photo / Supplied

The Sun in all its illuminating glory has for the first time been photographed on all sides at once in an historic image that could help to revolutionise our understanding of the immense magnetic forces at the burning heart of our own star.

A full 360-degree portrait of the Sun was released yesterday by Nasa, the United States space agency, after two identical spacecraft were aligned in their solar orbits precisely opposite one another on each side of the star.

Scientists said that seeing both of the Sun's hemispheres at the same time marked a turning point in humankind's relationship with the ultimate provider of all life on the Earth. They believe that viewing the Sun in stereoscopic vision might enable them to predict dangerous magnetic storms on Earth caused by the immense solar flares that fling out billions of tonnes of matter through the solar system.

The 3D images were captured by ultraviolet-sensitive cameras on board the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, a pair of spacecraft launched in October 2006.

- INDEPENDENT

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