ESA Successfully Takes Close-Up Photo of the Sun with 83 Megapixel Resolution

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Photo: ESA/Solar Orbiter
The European Space Agency (ESA) mission managed to photograph the Sun at close range. And, it became one of the best-resolution space photos in history.

The 9148 x 9122 pixels (83 megapixel) image can be enlarged to see the flare filaments more clearly.

Reported by Forbes, the photo of the Sun is the highest resolution image of the full disk of the Sun ever taken, although it had to be taken with a special camera so that it could cover its hotter outer atmosphere.

The image was taken from a distance half way between Earth and the Sun, which is about 75 million kilometers. Created on March 7, 2022 by cameras aboard the Solar Orbiter spacecraft. And it took four hours to form the image.

EUI resolution cameras are used to take pictures with such a high spatial resolution. With such close proximity, it would take a mosaic of 25 individual images to complete the entire Sun.

Images are taken one at a time and each mosaic takes about 10 minutes, including the time the spacecraft points from one segment to the next.

In total, the final image contains 83 million pixels in a 9149 X 9112 pixel grid. In comparison, this image has 10 times the resolution of a 4K TV screen

Launched in early 2020, the Solar Orbiter has a suite of 10 different scientific instruments that perform multiple observations for the first time. This includes the first telescope observations near the Sun, the first images of the Sun's north and south poles and the first full observations of the solar wind.

The Solar Orbiter is now inside Mercury's orbit, its closest approach to the Sun is about 50 million kilometers. It was one of the major events of the mission.

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