Today, NASA's twin STEREO probes finally situated themselves on opposite sides of our Sun and are able to beam back an uninterrupted image of our Solar System's star. Check out a video of the STEREO probes' combined vantage points.
Each STEREO probe photographs half of the star and beams the images to Earth. Researchers combine the two views to create a sphere. These aren't just regular pictures, however. STEREO's telescopes are tuned to four wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet radiation selected to trace key aspects of solar activity such as flares, tsunamis and magnetic filaments. Nothing escapes their attention.
"With data like these, we can fly around the sun to see what's happening over the horizon-without ever leaving our desks," says STEREO program scientist Lika Guhathakurta at NASA headquarters. "I expect great advances in theoretical solar physics and space weather forecasting."